Monday, July 18, 2011

US Case Law on Economic Classification

           Research by Yasser Latif Hamdani           

1.                   Williamson v. Lee Optical, Inc., 348 U.S. 483 (1955)

Case Summary:

Provisions of an Oklahoma statute making it unlawful for any person not a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist to fit lenses to a face or to duplicate or replace into frames lenses or other optical appliances except upon written prescriptive authority of an Oklahoma licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist, are not invalid under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. To subject opticians to this regulatory system while exempting all sellers of ready-to-wear glasses does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Excerpt on page 4:
The problem of legislative classification is a perennial one, admitting of no doctrinaire definition. Evils in the same field may be of different dimensions and proportions, requiring different remedies. Or so the legislature may think. Tigner v. State of Texas, 310 U. S. 141. Or the reform may take one step at a time, addressing itself to the phase of the problem which seems most acute to the legislative mind. Semler v. Oregon State Board of Dental Examiners, 294 U. S. 608. The legislature may select one phase of one field and apply a remedy there, neglecting the others. A.F. of L. v. American Sash Co., 335 U. S. 538. The prohibition of the Equal Protection Clause goes no further than the invidious discrimination. We cannot say that that point has been reached here. For all this record shows, the ready-to-wear branch of this business may not loom large in Oklahoma or may present problems of regulation distinct from the other branch.
Third, the District Court held unconstitutional, as violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, that portion of § 3 which makes it unlawful "to solicit the sale of . . . frames, mountings . . . or any other optical appliances." [Footnote 3] The court conceded that state regulation of advertising relating to eye examinations was a matter "rationally related to the public health and welfare," 120 F.Supp. at 140, and therefore subject to regulation within the principles of Semler v. Oregon State Board of Dental Examiners, supra. But regulation of the advertising of eyeglass frames was said to intrude "into a mercantile field only casually related to the visual care of the public"
and restrict "an activity which in no way can detrimentally affect the people." 120 F.Supp. at 140-141. [Footnote 4]
An eyeglass frame, considered in isolation, is only a piece of merchandise. But an eyeglass frame is not used in isolation, as Judge Murrah said in dissent below; it is used with lenses; and lenses, pertaining as they do to the human eye, enter the field of health. Therefore, the legislature might conclude that to regulate one effectively it would have to regulate the other. Or it might conclude that both the sellers of frames and the sellers of lenses were in a business where advertising should be limited, or even abolished, in the public interest. Semler v. Oregon State Board of Dental Examiners, supra. The advertiser of frames may be using his ads to bring in customers who will buy lenses. If the advertisement of lenses is to be abolished or controlled, the advertising of frames must come under the same restraints -- or so the legislature might think. We see no constitutional reason why a State may not treat all who deal with the human eye as members of a profession was should use no merchandising methods for obtaining customers.

2.                      ATCHISON, T. & S.F.R. CO. v. MATTHEWS, 174 U.S. 96 (1899)

Case Summary:

In 1885 the legislature of Kansas passed the following act: 'An act relating to the liability of railroads for damages by fire.
'Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Kansas: That in all actions against any railway company organized or doing business in this state, for damages by fire, caused by the operating of said railroad, it shall be only necessary for the plaintiff in said action to establish the fact that said fire complained of was caused by the operating of said railroad, and the amount of his damages (which proof shall be prima facie evidence of negligence on the part of said railroad): provided, that in estimating the damages under this act, the contributory negligence of the plaintiff shall be taken into consideration.
'Sec. 2. In all actions commenced under this act, if the plaintiff shall recover, there shall be allowed him by the court a reasonable attorney's fee, which shall become a part of the judgment.' Sess. Laws 1885, p. 258, c. 155.
Under it an action was brought in the district court of Cloud county, which resulted in a judgment against the railroad company, plaintiff in error, for $2,094 damages and $225 attorney's fees.

 Excerpt on Page 5:
It is the essence of a classification that upon the class are cast duties and burdens different from those resting upon the general public. Thus, when the legislature imposes on railroad corporations a double liability for stock killed by passing trains, it says, in effect, that if suit be brought against a railroad company for stock killed by one of its trains, it must enter into the courts under conditions different from those resting on ordinary suitors. If it is beaten in the suit, it must pay, not only the damage which it has done, but twice that amount. If it succeeds, it recovers nothing. On the other hand, if it should sue an individual for destruction of its live stock, it could, under no circumstances, recover any more than the value of that stock. So that it may be said that in matter of liability, in case of litigation, it is not placed on an equality with other corporations and individuals; yet this court has unanimously said that this differentiation of liability, this inequality of right in the courts, is of no significance upon the question of constitutionality. Indeed, the very idea of classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the fact of inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality.

3.                   SCHILB v. KUEBEL, 404 U.S. 357 (1971)

Case Summary:

Illinois law provides three ways in which an accused can secure his pretrial release: (1) personal recognizance; (2) execution of a bail bond, with a deposit of 10% of the bail, all but 10% of which (amounting to 1% of the bail) is returned on performance of the bond conditions, and (3) execution of a bail bond, secured by a full-amount deposit in cash, authorized securities, or certain real estate, all of which is returned on performance of the bond conditions. Appellant Schilb, charged with two traffic offenses, secured pretrial release after depositing 10% of the bail fixed. He was convicted of one offense and acquitted of the other. After he paid his fine, all but 1% of the bail (amounting to $7.50) was refunded. In this class action he thereafter challenged the Illinois system on due process and equal protection grounds, claiming that the 1% retention charge is imposed on only one segment of the class gaining pretrial release, and on the poor but not on the rich; and that its imposition on an accused found innocent constitutes a court cost against the nonguilty. The trial court dismissed Schilb's complaint, and the State Supreme Court affirmed. Held:  The Illinois bail system does not violate equal protection requirements. Pp. 364-370.
                Excerpt on page 6:

We are compelled to note preliminary that the attack on the Illinois bail statutes, in a very distinct sense, is paradoxical. The benefits of the new system, as compared with the old, are conceded. 10 And the appellants recognize that under the pre-1964 system Schilb's particular bail bond cost would have been 10% of his bail, or $75; that this premium price for his pretrial freedom, once paid, was irretrievable; and that, if he could not have raised the $75, he would have been consigned to jail until his trial. Thus, under the old system the cost of Schilb's pretrial freedom was $75, but under the new it was only $7.50. While acknowledging this obvious benefit of the statutory reform, Schilb and his coappellants decry the classification the statutes make and present the usual argument that the legislation must be struck down because it does not reform enough. [404 U.S. 357, 367]  
A. It is true that no charge is made to the accused who is released on his personal recognizance. We are advised, however, that this was also true under the old (pre-1964) system and that "Illinois has never charged people out on recognizance." 11 Thus, the burden on the State with respect to a personal recognizance is no more under the new system than what the State had assumed under the old. Also, with a recognizance, there is nothing the State holds for safekeeping, with resulting responsibility and additional paperwork. All this provides a rational basis for distinguishing between the personal recognizance and the deposit situations.
There is also, however, no retention charge to the accused who deposits the full amount of cash bail or securities or real estate. Yet the administrative cost attendant upon the 10% deposit and that upon the full deposit are, by the stipulation, "substantially the same" with, indeed, any higher cost incurred with respect to the full deposit.
This perhaps is a more tenuous distinction, but we cannot conclude that it is constitutionally vulnerable. One who deposits securities or encumbers his real estate precludes the use of that property for other purposes. And one who deposits the full amount of his bail in cash is dispossessed of a productive asset throughout the period of the deposit; presumably, at least, its interim possession by the State accrues to the benefit of the State. Further the State's protection against the expenses that inevitably are incurred when bail is jumped is greater when 100% cash or securities or real estate is deposited or obligated than when only 10% of the bail amount is advanced. The Joint Committee's and the State Legislature's decision in balancing these opposing considerations in the way that they did cannot be described [404 U.S. 357, 368]   as lacking in rationality to the point where equal protection considerations require that they be struck down.

4.                   McGOWAN v. MARYLAND, 366 U.S. 420 (1961)

Case Summary:

Appellants, employees of a large department store on a highway in Anne Arundel County, Md., were convicted and fined in a Maryland State Court for selling on Sunday a loose-leaf binder, a can of floor wax, a stapler, staples and a toy, in violation of Md. Ann. Code, Art. 27, 521, which generally prohibits the sale on Sunday of all merchandise except the retail sale of tobacco products, confectioneries, milk, bread, fruit, gasoline, oils, greases, drugs, medicines, newspapers and periodicals. Recent amendments now except from the prohibition the retail sale in Anne Arundel County of all foodstuffs, automobile and boating accessories, flowers, toilet goods, hospital supplies and souvenirs, and exempt entirely any retail establishment in that County which employs not more than one person other than the owner. There are many other Maryland laws which prohibit specific activities on Sundays or limit them to certain hours, places or conditions. Held: Art. 27, 521 does not violate the Equal Protection or Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or constitute a law respecting an establishment of religion, within the meaning of the First Amendment, which is made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 422-453.

Excerpt on Page 3:

The standards under which this proposition is to be evaluated have been set forth many times by this Court. Although no precise formula has been developed, the Court has held that the Fourteenth Amendment permits the States a wide scope of discretion in enacting laws which affect some groups of citizens differently than others. The constitutional safeguard is offended only if the classification rests on grounds wholly irrelevant to the achievement of the State's objective. State legislatures are presumed to have acted within their constitutional power despite the fact that, in practice, their laws [366 U.S. 420, 426]   result in some inequality. A statutory discrimination will not be set aside if any state of facts reasonably may be conceived to justify it. See Kotch v. Board of River Port Pilot Comm'rs, 330 U.S. 552 ; Metropolitan Casualty Ins. Co. v. Brownell, 294 U.S. 580 ; Lindsley v. Natural Carbonic Gas Co., 220 U.S. 61 ; Atchison, T. & S. F. R. Co. v. Matthews, 174 U.S. 96 . 3  
It would seem that a legislature could reasonably find that the Sunday sale of the exempted commodities was necessary either for the health of the populace or for the enhancement of the recreational atmosphere of the day - that a family which takes a Sunday ride into the country will need gasoline for the automobile and may find pleasant a soft drink or fresh fruit; that those who go to the beach may wish ice cream or some other item normally sold there; that some people will prefer alcoholic beverages or games of chance to add to their relaxation; that newspapers and drug products should always be available to the public.
The record is barren of any indication that this apparently reasonable basis does not exist, that the statutory distinctions are invidious, that local tradition and custom might not rationally call for this legislative treatment. See Salsburg v. Maryland, 346 U.S. 545, 552 -553; Kotch [366 U.S. 420, 427]   v. Board of River Port Pilot Comm'rs, supra. Likewise, the fact that these exemptions exist and deny some vendors and operators the day of rest and recreation contemplated by the legislature does not render the statutes violative of equal protection since there would appear to be many valid reasons for these exemptions, as stated above, and no evidence to dispel them.

5.                   U.S. RAILROAD RETIREMENT BD. v. FRITZ, 449 U.S. 166 (1980)
Case Summary:
The Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 (1974 Act) fundamentally restructured the railroad retirement system under the predecessor 1937 Act, which had included provisions whereby a person who worked for both railroad and nonrailroad employers and who qualified for both railroad retirement and social security benefits received benefits under both systems and an accompanying "windfall" benefit. Although providing that employees who lacked the requisite 10 years of railroad employment to qualify for railroad retirement benefits as of the January 1, 1975, changeover date would not receive any windfall benefits, the 1974 Act preserved windfall benefits for individuals who had retired and were receiving dual benefits as of the changeover date. A provision of the 1974 Act, 45 U.S.C. 231b (h) (1), also preserved windfall benefits for employees who had qualified for dual benefits as of the changeover date, but who had not yet retired, if they had (1) performed some railroad service in 1974 or (2) had a "current connection" with the railroad industry as of December 31, 1974, or their later retirement date, or (3) completed 25 years of railroad service as of December 31, 1974. The 1974 Act further provided, 45 U.S.C. 231b (h) (2), that employees who had qualified for railroad benefits as of the changeover date, but lacked a current connection with the railroad industry in 1974 and 25 years of railroad employment, could obtain a lesser amount of windfall benefits if they had qualified for social security benefits as of the year (prior to 1975) they left railroad employment. Appellee and others filed a class action in Federal District Court for a declaratory judgment that 231b (h) is unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, contending that it was irrational for Congress to distinguish between employees who had more than 10 years but less than 25 years of railroad employment simply on the basis of whether they had a "current connection" with the railroad industry as of the changeover date or as of the date of retirement. The District Court certified a plaintiff class of all persons eligible to retire between January 1, 1975, and January 31, 1977, who were permanently insured under the Social Security Act as of December 31, 1974, but who were not eligible to receive any windfall benefits because they had left the [449 U.S. 166, 167]   railroad industry before 1974, had no "current connection" with it at the end of 1974, and had less than 25 years of railroad service. The court held that the differentiation based solely on whether an employee was "active" in the railroad business as of 1974 was not "rationally related" to the congressional purposes of insuring the solvency of the railroad retirement system and protecting vested benefits. The challenged provisions of the 1974 Act do not deny the plaintiff class equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. Pp. 174-179.
Excerpt on pages 11-12:
From these cases and others it is clear that this Court will no longer sustain a challenged classification under the rational-basis test merely because Government attorneys can suggest a "conceivable basis" upon which it might be thought rational. The standard we have applied is properly deferential to the Legislative Branch: where Congress has articulated a legitimate governmental objective, and the challenged classification rationally furthers that objective, we must sustain the provision. In other cases, however, the courts must probe more deeply. Where Congress has expressly stated the purpose of a piece of legislation, but where the challenged classification is either irrelevant to or counter to that purpose, we must view any post hoc justifications proffered by Government attorneys with skepticism. A challenged classification may be sustained only if it is rationally related to achievement of an actual legitimate governmental purpose.
The Court argues that Congress chose to discriminate against appellee for reasons of equity, stating that "Congress could properly conclude that persons who had actually acquired statutory entitlement to windfall benefits while still employed in the railroad industry had a greater equitable [449 U.S. 166, 189]   claim to those benefits than the members of appellee's class who were no longer in railroad employment when they became eligible for dual benefits." 4 Ante, at 178. This statement turns Congress' assessment of the equities on its head. As I have shown, 5 Congress expressed the view that it would be inequitable to deprive any retirees of any portion of the benefits they had been promised and that they had earned under prior law. See also H. R. Rep. No. 93-1345, pp. 4, 11 (1974); S. Rep. No. 93-1163, pp. 4, 11 (1974); 120 Cong. Rec. 35613 (1974) (statement of Rep. Hudnut); id., at 35614 (statement of Rep. Shuster); id., at 35615 (statement of Rep. Morgan). The Court is unable to cite even one statement in the legislative history by a Representative or Senator that makes the equitable judgment it imputes to Congress. In the entire legislative history of the Act, the only persons to state that the equities justified eliminating appellee's earned dual benefits were representatives of railroad management and labor, whose self-serving interest in bringing about this result destroys any basis for attaching weight to their statements. 6  

v. RODRIGUEZ ET AL. 411 U.S. 1 (1973)

Case Summary:

This suit attacking the Texas system of financing public education was initiated by Mexican-American parents whose children attend the elementary and secondary 5*5 schools in the Edgewood Independent School District, an urban school district in San Antonio, Texas.[1] They brought a class action on behalf of schoolchildren throughout the State who are members of minority groups or who are poor and reside in school districts having a low property tax base. Named as defendants[2] were the State Board of Education, the Commissioner of Education, the State Attorney General, and the Bexar County (San Antonio) Board of Trustees. The complaint 6*6 was filed in the summer of 1968 and a three-judge court was impaneled in January 1969.[3] In December 1971[4] the panel rendered its judgment in a per curiam opinion holding the Texas school finance system unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.[5]

Excerpt on pages 4-5:
The District Court's opinion does not reflect the novelty and complexity of the constitutional questions posed by appellees' challenge to Texas' system of school financing. In concluding that strict judicial scrutiny was required, 18*18 that court relied on decisions dealing with the rights of indigents to equal treatment in the criminal trial and appellate processes,[45] and on cases disapproving wealth restrictions on the right to vote.[46] Those cases, the District Court concluded, established wealth as a suspect classification. Finding that the local property tax system discriminated on the basis of wealth, it regarded those precedents as controlling. It then reasoned, based on decisions of this Court affirming the undeniable importance of education,[47] that there is a fundamental right to education and that, absent some compelling state justification, the Texas system could not stand.
We are unable to agree that this case, which in significant aspects is sui generis, may be so neatly fitted into the conventional mosaic of constitutional analysis under the Equal Protection Clause. Indeed, for the several reasons that follow, we find neither the suspect-classification nor the fundamental-interest analysis persuasive.
The wealth discrimination discovered by the District Court in this case, and by several other courts that have recently struck down school-financing laws in other States,[48] is quite unlike any of the forms of wealth discrimination 19*19 heretofore reviewed by this Court. Rather than focusing on the unique features of the alleged discrimination, the courts in these cases have virtually assumed their findings of a suspect classification through a simplistic process of analysis: since, under the traditional systems of financing public schools, some poorer people receive less expensive educations than other more affluent people, these systems discriminate on the basis of wealth. This approach largely ignores the hard threshold questions, including whether it makes a difference for purposes of consideration under the Constitution that the class of disadvantaged "poor" cannot be identified or defined in customary equal protection terms, and whether the relative—rather than absolute—nature of the asserted deprivation is of significant consequence. Before a State's laws and the justifications for the classifications they create are subjected to strict judicial scrutiny, we think these threshold considerations must be analyzed more closely than they were in the court below.
The case comes to us with no definitive description of the classifying facts or delineation of the disfavored class. Examination of the District Court's opinion and of appellees' complaint, briefs, and contentions at oral argument suggests, however, at least three ways in which the discrimination claimed here might be described. The Texas system of school financing might be regarded as discriminating (1) against "poor" persons whose incomes fall below some identifiable level of poverty or who might be characterized as functionally "indigent,"[49] or 20*20 (2) against those who are relatively poorer than others,[50] or (3) against all those who, irrespective of their personal incomes, happen to reside in relatively poorer school districts.[51] Our task must be to ascertain whether, in fact, the Texas system has been shown to discriminate on any of these possible bases and, if so, whether the resulting classification may be regarded as suspect.

7.                   SCHWEIKER v. WILSON, 450 U.S. 221 (1981)

Case Summary:
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which is part of the Social Security Act, provides a subsistence allowance to needy aged, blind, and disabled persons. Inmates of public institutions are generally excluded from this program, except that under 1611 (e) (1) (B) of the Act a reduced amount of SSI benefits are provided to otherwise eligible persons in a hospital, extended care facility, nursing home, or intermediate care facility receiving Medicaid funds for their care. Appellees, aged 21 through 64 and residing in public mental institutions that do not receive Medicaid funds for their care, brought a class action in Federal District Court challenging their exclusion from the reduced SSI benefits. The District Court held such exclusion unconstitutional as violative of the equal protection guarantees of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment on the ground that the "mental health" classification could not withstand judicial scrutiny because it did not have a "substantial relation" to the object of the legislation in light of its "primary purpose."
Appellees' rights to equal protection were not violated by denying them SSI benefits. Pp. 230-239.

Excerpt on page 4:
The equal protection obligation imposed by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment is not an obligation to provide the best governance possible. This is a necessary result of different institutional competences, and its reasons are obvious. Unless a statute employs a classification that is inherently invidious or that impinges on fundamental rights, areas in which the judiciary then has a duty to intervene in the democratic process, this Court properly exercises only a limited review power over Congress, the appropriate representative body through which the public makes democratic choices among alternative solutions to social and economic problems. See San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973). At the minimum level, this Court consistently has required that legislation classify the persons it affects in a manner rationally related to legitimate governmental objectives. See, e. g., Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471 (1970); Mathews v. De Castro, 429 U.S. 181 (1976). Appellees assert that the particular grant of federal benefits under review here, however, should "be subjected to a heightened standard of review," Brief for Appellees 39, because the mentally ill "historically have been subjected to purposeful unequal treatment; they have been relegated to a position of political powerlessness; and prejudice against them curtails their participation in the pluralist political system and strips them of political protection against discriminatory legislation." (Footnote omitted.) Id., at 41. [450 U.S. 221, 231]  
We have no occasion to reach this issue because we conclude that this statute does not classify directly on the basis of mental health. 13 The SSI program distinguishes among three groups of persons, all of whom meet the basic eligibility requirements: persons not in a "public institution" may receive full benefits; persons in a "public institution" of a certain nature ("hospital, extended care facility, nursing home, or intermediate care facility receiving payments (with respect to such individual or spouse) . . . under [Medicaid])" (emphasis added), 1611 (e) (1) (B), may receive reduced benefits; and persons in any other "public institution" may not receive any benefits. The statute does not isolate the mentally ill or subject them, as a discrete group, to special or subordinate treatment. At the most, this legislation incidentally denies a small monthly comfort benefit to a certain number of persons suffering from mental illness; but in so doing it imposes equivalent deprivation on other groups who are not mentally ill, while at the same time benefiting substantial numbers of the mentally ill.
The group thus singled out for special treatment by 1611 (e) does not entirely exclude the mentally ill. In fact, it includes, in a sizable proportion to the total population receiving SSI benefits, large numbers of mentally ill people. 14   [450 U.S. 221, 232]   Further, the group excluded is not congruent with appellees' class. Among those excluded are the inmates of any other nonmedical "public institution," such as a prison, other penal institution, and any other publicly funded residential program the State may operate; 15 persons residing in a tuberculosis institution; and residents of a medical institution not certified as a Medicaid provider. 16 Although not by the same subsection, Congress also chose to exclude from SSI eligibility persons afflicted with alcoholism or drug addiction and not undergoing treatment, 1611 (e) (3) (A), and persons who spend more than a specified time outside the United States, 1611 (f). See Califano v. Aznavorian, 439 U.S. 170 (1978) (upholding constitutionality of 1611 (f)); Califano v. Torres, 435 U.S. 1 (1978) (upholding constitutionality of Congress' exclusion from SSI eligibility of residents of Puerto Rico). Thus, in 1611 (e), Congress made a distinction not between the mentally ill and a group composed of nonmentally ill, but between residents in public institutions receiving Medicaid [450 U.S. 221, 233]   funds for their care and residents in such institutions not receiving Medicaid funds.
To the extent that the statute has an indirect impact upon the mentally ill as a subset of publicly institutionalized persons, this record certainly presents no statistical support for a contention that the mentally ill as a class are burdened disproportionately to any other class affected by the classification. The exclusion draws a line only between groups composed (in part) of mentally ill individuals: those in public mental hospitals and those not in public mental hospitals. These groups are shifting in population, and members of one group can, and often do, pass to the other group. 17  

Case Summary:
This case involves the validity of a method used by Maryland, in the administration of an aspect of its public welfare program, to reconcile the demands of its needy citizens with the finite resources available to meet those demands.
Excerpt on Page 4 and 5:
In the area of economics and social welfare, a State does not violate the Equal Protection Clause merely because the classifications made by its laws are imperfect. If the classification has some "reasonable basis," it does not offend the Constitution simply because the classification "is not made with mathematical nicety or because in practice it results in some inequality." Lindsley v. Natural Carbonic Gas Co., 220 U. S. 61, 78. "The problems of government are practical ones and may justify, if they do not require, rough accommodations—illogical, it may be, and unscientific." Metropolis Theatre Co. v. City of Chicago, 228 U. S. 61, 69-70. "A statutory discrimination will not be set aside if any state of facts reasonably may be conceived to justify it." McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U. S. 420, 426.
To be sure, the cases cited, and many others enunciating this fundamental standard under the Equal Protection Clause, have in the main involved state regulation of business or industry. The administration of public welfare assistance, by contrast, involves the most basic economic needs of impoverished human beings. We recognize the dramatically real factual difference between the cited cases and this one, but we can find no basis for applying a different constitutional standard.[17] See Snell v. Wyman, 281 F. Supp. 853, aff'd, 393 U. S. 323. It is a standard that has consistently been applied to state legislation restricting the availability of employment opportunities. Goesaert v. Cleary, 335 U. S. 464; Kotch v. Board of River Port Pilot Comm'rs, 330 U. S. 552. See also Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U. S. 603. And it is a 486*486 standard that is true to the principle that the Fourteenth Amendment gives the federal courts no power to impose upon the States their views of what constitutes wise economic or social policy.[18]
Under this long-established meaning of the Equal Protection Clause, it is clear that the Maryland maximum grant regulation is constitutionally valid. We need not explore all the reasons that the State advances in justification of the regulation. It is enough that a solid foundation for the regulation can be found in the State's legitimate interest in encouraging employment and in avoiding discrimination between welfare families and the families of the working poor. By combining a limit on the recipient's grant with permission to retain money earned, without reduction in the amount of the grant, Maryland provides an incentive to seek gainful employment. And by keying the maximum family AFDC grants to the minimum wage a steadily employed head of a household receives, the State maintains some semblance of an equitable balance between families on welfare and those supported by an employed breadwinner.[19]
It is true that in some AFDC families there may be no person who is employable.[20] It is also true that with respect to AFDC families whose determined standard of need is below the regulatory maximum, and who therefore receive grants equal to the determined standard, the employment incentive is absent. But the Equal Protection Clause does not require that a State must 487*487 choose between attacking every aspect of a problem or not attacking the problem at all. Lindsley v. Natural Carbonic Gas Co., 220 U. S. 61. It is enough that the State's action be rationally based and free from invidious discrimination. The regulation before us meets that test.
We do not decide today that the Maryland regulation is wise, that it best fulfills the relevant social and economic objectives that Maryland might ideally espouse, or that a more just and humane system could not be devised. Conflicting claims of morality and intelligence are raised by opponents and proponents of almost every measure, certainly including the one before us. But the intractable economic, social, and even philosophical problems presented by public welfare assistance programs are not the business of this Court. The Constitution may impose certain procedural safeguards upon systems of welfare administration, Goldberg v. Kelly, ante, p. 254. But the Constitution does not empower this Court to second-guess state officials charged with the difficult responsibility of allocating limited public welfare funds among the myriad of potential recipients. Cf. Steward Mach. Co. v. Davis, 301 U. S. 548, 584-585; Helvering v. Davis, 301 U. S. 619, 644.
The judgment is reversed.

9.                   GOESAERT V. CLEARY , 335 U.S. 464 (1948)

Excerpt on page 2:

While Michigan may deny to all women opportunities for bartending, Michigan cannot play favorities among women without rhyme or reasons. The Constitution in enjoining the equal protection of the laws upon States precludes irrational discrimination as between persons or groups of persons in the incidence of a law. But the Constitution does not require situations 'which are different in fact or opinion to be treated in law as though they were the same.' Tigner v. State of Texas, 310 U.S. 141, 147 , 882, 130 A.L.R. 1321. Since bartending by women may, in the allowable legislative judgment, give rise to moral and social problems against which it may devise preventive measures, the legislature need not go to the full length of prohibition if it believes that as to a defined group of females other factors are operating which either eliminate or reduce the moral and social problems otherwise calling for prohibition. Michigan evidently believes that the oversight assured through ownership of a bar by a barmaid's husband or father minimizes hazards that may confront a barmaid without such protecting oversight. This Court is certainly not in a position to gainsay such belief by the Michigan legislature. If it is entertainable, as we think it is, Michigan has not violated its duty to afford equal protection of its laws. We cannot cross-examine either actually or argumentatively the mind of Michigan legis- [335 U.S. 464 , 467]   lators nor question their motives. Since the line they have drawn is not without a basis in reason, we cannot give ear to the suggestion that the real impulse behind this legislation was an unchivalrous desire of male bartenders to try to monopolize the calling.
It would be an idle parade of familiar learning to review the multitudinous cases in which the constitutional assurance of the equal protection of the laws has been applied. The generalties on thi subject are not in dispute; their application turns peculiarly on the particular circumstances of a case. Thus, it would be a sterile inquiry to consider whether this case is nearer to the nepotic pilotage law of Louisiana, sustained in Kotch v. River Port Pilot Commissioners, 330 U.S 552, than it is to the Oklahoma sterilization law, which fell in Skinner v. State of Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535 . Suffice it to say that 'A statute is not invalid under the Constitution because it might have gone farther than it did, or because it may not succeed in bringing about the result that it tends to produce.' Roschen v. Ward, 279 U.S. 337, 339 .
Nor is it unconstitutional for Michigan to withdraw from women the occupation of bartending because it allows women to serve as waitresses where liquor is dispensed. The District Court has sufficiently indicated the reasons that may have influenced the legislature in allowing women to be waitresses in a liquor establishment over which a man's ownership provides control. Nothing need be added to what was said below as to the other grounds on which the Michigan law was assailed.


Case Summary:
"Residents" participating in accredited graduate medical education programs receive substantial payments (called stipends) from the Mayo Foundation for medical and patient care services provided by the residents at affiliated and unaffiliated hospitals and clinics. The Internal Revenue Code exempts certain students from Social Security taxes. Recently promulgated Treasury Regulations categorically exclude all medical residents and other fulltime employees from the definition of "student" in 26 U.S.C. § 3121(b)(10), which exempts from Social Security taxes "service performed in the employ of a school, college, or university" by a "student who is enrolled and regularly attending classes at such school, college, or university."  The US Supreme Court unanimously held that the Treasury Department's rule is a reasonable interpretation of § 3121(b)(10).
Excerpt on pages 13-14:

Regulation, like legislation, often requires drawing lines. Mayo does not dispute that the Treasury Department reasonably sought a way to distinguish between workers who study and students who work, see IRS Letter Ruling 9332005 (May 3, 1993). Focusing on the hours an individual works and the hours he spends in studies is a perfectly sensible way of accomplishing that goal. The Department explained that an individual’s service and his “course of study are separate and distinct activities” in “the vast majority of cases,” and reasoned that “[e]mployees who are working enough hours to be considered full-time employees . . . have filled the conventional measure of available time with work, and not study.” 69 Fed. Reg. 8607. The Department thus did not distinguish classroom education from clinical training but rather education from service. The Department reasonably concluded that its full-time employee rule would “improve administrability,” id., at 76405, and it thereby “has avoided the wasteful litigation and continuing uncertainty that would inevitably accompany any purely case-by-case approach” like the one Mayo advocates. As the Treasury Department has explained, moreover, the full-time employee rule has more to recommend it than administrative convenience. The Department reasonably determined that taxing residents under FICA would further the purpose of the Social Security Act andcomport with this Court’s precedent. As the Treasury Department appreciated, this Court has understood the terms of the Social Security Act to “‘import a breadth of coverage,’” 69 Fed. Reg. 8605 (quoting Social Security Bd. v. Nierotko, 327 U. S. 358, 365 (1946)), and we have instructed that “exemptions from taxation are to be construed narrowly,” Bingler v. Johnson, 394 U. S. 741, 752 (1969). Although Mayo contends that medical residents have not yet begun their “working lives” because they are not “fully trained,” Reply Brief for Petitioners 13 (internal quotation marks omitted), the Department certainly did not act irrationally in concluding that these doctors—“who work long hours, serve as highly skilled professionals, and typically share some or all of the terms of employment of career employees”—are the kind of workers that Congress intended to both contribute to and benefit from the Social Security system. 69 Fed. Reg. 8608.

11.                  Vance v. Bradley, 440 U.S. 93 (1979)

Case Summary:

Section 632 of the Foreign Service Act of 1946, which requires persons covered by the Foreign Service retirement system to retire at age 60, though no mandatory retirement age is established for Civil Service employees, including those who serve abroad, held not to violate the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Excerpt on pages 4-6:

At least since the enactment of the Rogers Act in 1924, which created the Foreign Service by reorganizing the diplomatic and consular services into a single entity, Congress has recognized the distinctive requirements associated with the conduct of the country's foreign relations, and has provided personnel policies for the Foreign Service separate and apart from the general Civil Service system. Among other differences, Foreign Service officers have been subject to an earlier retirement age than is true in the Civil Service.
Congress continued to give special attention to the Foreign Service when it passed the Foreign Service Act of 1946, 60 Stat. 999, which, with amendments, is still in effect. That Act reorganized the Foreign Service, provided it with a new personnel structure, and revised its retirement system. The intention was to produce a
"disciplined and mobile corps of trained men . . . through entry at the bottom on the basis of competitive examination and advancement by merit to positions of command."
H.R.Rep. No. 2508, 79th Cong., 2d Sess., 1 (1946). [Footnote 13] In furtherance of "the fundamental career
principle" [Footnote 14] that had earlier been established for the Service, id. at 5, Congress found that
"[t]he promotion system must insure the rapid advancement of men of ability to positions of responsibility and the elimination of men who have reached their ceilings of performance."
Id. at 2-3. Thus, not only was initial selection to be on the basis of merit, but Foreign Service officers were also to be classified based on their individual abilities, and to be regularly examined for promotion by selection boards. Those officers failing to measure up to the performance expected for their class or who had failed to win promotion within an allotted time were "selected out." The aim was to stimulate superior performance and to retain only those capable of conducting themselves in this manner in widely different assignments around the world.
It was also in 1946 that the compulsory retirement age for most classes of Foreign Service officers was lowered from 65 to 60. This provision, § 632, was grouped with the selection-out sections of the Act. [Footnote 15] Together, these sections "prescribe the
criteria as to length of service in classes which will determine whether officers are selected out or retired," H.R.Rep. No. 2508, supra at 90, and were designed "to assure a reasonable pyramid of promotion." Ibid. The retirement and selection-out provisions are part of an integral plan to create
"a correctly balanced Service that [was] constructed so that the size of the various classes would correspond with the distribution of the work load of the Service."
Ibid. Selection out operates primarily at the lower levels of the Service; compulsory retirement operates at the top of the pyramid. Congress in 1946 required officers in the then-highest category, [Footnote 16] career ministers, and in the next-highest, class 1, to retire at ages 65 and 60, respectively. These officers were not subject to selection out by the 1946 Act, [Footnote 17] but, as Congress expressly noted with respect to class 1, "the mandatory provisions of the retirement for age . . . accomplish the desired result of insuring turn-over in this class." Id. at 91. [Footnote 18] The District Court nevertheless rejected this justification for § 632, stating in conclusory fashion that
"recruiting and promoting younger people solely because of their youth is inherently discriminatory, and cannot provide a legitimate basis for the statutory scheme."
436 F.Supp. at 136. Whether or not this is a sound legal proposition, we think that the
District Court mischaracterized the purpose of § 632 and the manner in which it operates. Congress was intent not on rewarding youth qua youth, but on stimulating the highest performance in the ranks of the Foreign Service by assuring that opportunities for promotion would be available despite limits on the number of personnel classes and on the number of positions in the Service. Aiming at superior achievement can hardly be characterized as illegitimate, and it is equally untenable to suggest that providing promotion opportunities through the selection-out process and through early retirement does not play an acceptable role in the process. As this Court has previously observed with respect to the selection-out structure provided by Congress for naval officers, which was the model for the Foreign Service Act of 1946, the scheme
"results in a flow of promotions commensurate with the Navy's current needs and serves to motivate qualified commissioned officers to so conduct themselves that they may realistically look forward to higher levels of command."
Schlesinger v. Ballard, 419 U. S. 498, 419 U. S. 510 (1975).
The District Court also rejected this justification for § 632 because "there is no obvious reason why [it] would not equally apply to the Civil Service." 436 F.Supp. at 136. But this criticism ignores the evident congressional conviction that the country should be at great pains to assure the high quality of those occupying positions critical to the conduct of our foreign relations in the post-war world. [Footnote 19] Congress plainly intended
to create a relatively small, homogeneous, and particularly able corps of Foreign Service officers. It was thought that the tasks performed by this corps were sufficiently demanding and important to the Nation that it was necessary to pursue more rigorous policies to ensure excellence than those generally applicable in the Government. There is no selection-out system in the Civil Service, for example; the competitive examination process is not generally as rigorous; and there are far wider variations in the nature of the various Civil Service positions and personnel. Perhaps Congress will someday attempt to devise a regime such as this one for all federal employees, but for now it has determined to employ it only in connection with what it deems to be a few distinctive groups such as the Foreign Service. See also Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, Pub.L. 9564, §§ 3(6), 401-415, 92 Stat. 1113, 1154-1179 (creating Senior Executive Service). The judgment that the Foreign Service needs such a system more than do many other departments is one of policy, and this kind of policy, under our constitutional system, ordinarily is to be "fixed only by the people acting through their elected representatives." Firemen v. Chicago, R.I. & P. R. Co., 393 U. S. 129, 393 U. S. 138 (1968). Since the congressional judgment to place a high value on the proper conduct of our foreign affairs can hardly be said to be constitutionally impermissible, it was not for the District Court to refuse to accept it.

12.                                 Semler v. Oregon State Board of Dental Examiners, 294 U.S. 608 (1935)

Case Summary:

A regulation preventing dentists from advertising their professional superiority and their prices; from use of certain forms of advertising signs; from use of advertising solicitors or publicity agents; from advertising free dental work, free examinations, guaranteed work, and painless operations, held valid under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, without regard to the truthfulness of the representations or the benefit of the services advertised.

Excerpt on page 3:

Nor has plaintiff any ground for objection because the particular regulation is limited to dentists, and is not extended to other professional classes. The state was not bound to deal alike with all these classes, or to strike at all evils at the same time or in the same way. It could deal with the different professions according to the needs of the public in relation to each.
We find no basis for the charge of an unconstitutional discrimination. Watson v. Maryland, 218 U. S. 173, 218 U. S. 179; Miller v. Wilson, 236 U. S. 373, 236 U. S. 384; Missouri ex rel. Hurwitz v. North, 271 U. S. 40, 271 U. S. 43; Dr. Bloom Dentist, Inc. v. Cruise, 288 U.S. 588.
The question is whether the challenged restrictions amount to an arbitrary interference with liberty and property, and thus violate the requirement of due process of law. That the state may regulate the practice of dentistry, prescribing the qualifications that are reasonably necessary, and to that end may require licenses and establish supervision by an administrative board, is not open to dispute.

13.               Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113 (1876)

Case Summary:
 The act of the general assembly of Illinois, entitled "An Act to regulate public warehouses and the warehousing and inspection of grain, and to give effect to art. 13 of the Constitution of this State" approved April 25, 1871, is not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States. Under the powers inherent in every sovereignty, a government may regulate the conduct of its citizens toward each other, and, when necessary for the public good, the manner in which each shall use his own property.

Excerpt on pages 7-9:

In their exercise, it has been customary in England from time immemorial, and in this country from its first colonization, to regulate ferries, common carriers, hackmen, bakers, millers, wharfingers, innkeepers, &c., and, in so doing, to fix a maximum of charge to be made for services rendered, accommodations furnished, and articles sold. To this day, statutes are to be found in many of the States upon some or all these subjects; and we think it has never yet been successfully contended that such legislation came within any of the constitutional prohibitions against interference with private property. With the Fifth Amendment in force, Congress, in 1820, conferred power upon the city of Washington
"to regulate . . . the rates of wharfage at private wharves, . . . the sweeping of chimneys, and to fix the rates of fees therefor, . . . and the weight and quality of bread,"
3 Stat. 587, sect. 7, and, in 1848,
"to make all necessary regulations respecting hackney carriages and the rates of fare of the same, and the rates of hauling by cartmen, wagoners, carmen, and draymen, and the rates of commission of auctioneers,"
9 id. 224, sect. 2.
From this it is apparent that, down to the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, it was not supposed that statutes regulating the use, or even the price of the use, of private property necessarily deprived an owner of his property without due process of law. Under some circumstances they may, but not under all. The amendment does not change the law in this particular; it simply prevents the States from doing that which will operate as such a deprivation.
This brings us to inquire as to the principles upon which this power of regulation rests, in order that we may determine what is within and what without its operative effect. Looking,
then, to the common law, from whence came the right which the Constitution protects, we find that, when private property is "affected with a public interest, it ceases to be juris privati only." This was said by Lord Chief Justice Hale more than two hundred years ago, in his treatise De Portibus Maris, 1 Harg.Law Tracts 78, and has been accepted without objection as an essential element in the law of property ever since. Property does become clothed with a public interest when used in a manner to make it of public consequence and affect the community at large. When, therefore, one devotes his property to a use in which the public has an interest, he, in effect, grants to the public an interest in that use, and must submit to be controlled by the public for the common good, to the extent of the interest he has thus created. He may withdraw his grant by discontinuing the use, but, so long as he maintains the use, he must submit to the control.
Thus, as to ferries, Lord Hale says, in his treatise De Jure Maris, 1 Harg.Law Tracts, 6, the king has
"a right of franchise or privilege, that no man may set up a common ferry for all passengers without a prescription time out of mind, or a charter from the king. He may make a ferry for his own use or the use of his family, but not for the common use of all the king's subjects passing that way, because it doth in consequence tend to a common charge, and is become a thing if public interest and use, and every man for his passage pays a toll, which is a common charge, and every ferry ought to be under a public regulation, viz., that it give attendance at due times, keep a boat in due order, and take but reasonable toll; for if he fail in these, he is finable."
So if one owns the soil and landing-places on both banks of a stream, he cannot use them for the purposes of a public ferry except upon such terms and conditions as the body politic may from time to time impose, and this because the common good requires that all public ways shall be under the control of the public authorities. This privilege or prerogative of the king, who in this connection only represents and gives another name to the body politic, is not primarily for his profit, but for the protection of the people and the promotion of the general welfare.

14.               West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937)

Case Summary:
This was an appeal from a judgment for money directed by the Supreme Court of Washington, reversing the trial court, in an action by a chambermaid against a hotel company to recover the difference between the amount of wages paid or tendered to her as per contract and a larger amount computed on the minimum wage fixed by a state board or commission.
Excerpt on pages 7-9:
It is manifest that this established principle is peculiarly applicable in relation to the employment of women, in whose protection the State has a special interest. That phase of the subject received elaborate consideration in Muller v. Oregon (1908), 208 U. S. 412, where the constitutional authority of the State to limit the working hours of women was sustained. We emphasized the consideration that "woman's physical structure and the performance of maternal functions place her at a disadvantage in the struggle for subsistence," and that her physical wellbeing "becomes an object of public interest and care in order to preserve the strength and vigor of the race." We emphasized the need of protecting women against oppression despite her possession of contractual rights. We said that,
"though limitations upon personal and contractual rights may be removed by legislation, there is that in her
disposition and habits of life which will operate against a full assertion of those rights. She will still be where some legislation to protect her seems necessary to secure a real equality of right."
Hence, she was
"properly placed in a class by herself, and legislation designed for her protection may be sustained even when like legislation is not necessary for men and could not be sustained."
We concluded that the limitations which the statute there in question "placed upon her contractual powers, upon her right to agree with her employer as to the time she shall labor," were "not imposed solely for her benefit, but also largely for the benefit of all." Again, in Quong Wing v. Kirkendall, 223 U. S. 59, 223 U. S. 63, in referring to a differentiation with respect to the employment of women, we said that the Fourteenth Amendment did not interfere with state power by creating a "fictitious equality." We referred to recognized classifications on the basis of sex with regard to hours of work and in other matters, and we observed that the particular points at which that difference shall be enforced by legislation were largely in the power of the State. In later rulings, this Court sustained the regulation of hours of work of women employees in Riley v. Massachusetts, 232 U. S. 671 (factories), Miller v. Wilson, 236 U. S. 373 (hotels), and Bosley v. McLaughlin, 236 U. S. 385 (hospitals).
This array of precedents and the principles they applied were thought by the dissenting Justices in the Adkins case to demand that the minimum wage statute be sustained. The validity of the distinction made by the Court between a minimum wage and a maximum of hours in limiting liberty of contract was especially challenged. 261 U.S. p. 261 U. S. 564. That challenge persists, and is without any satisfactory answer. As Chief Justice Taft observed:
"In absolute freedom of contract, the one term is as important as the other, for both enter equally into the consideration given and received, a restriction as to
the one is not greater, in essence, than the other, and is of the same kind. One is the multiplier, and the other the multiplicand."
And Mr. Justice Holmes, while recognizing that "the distinctions of the law are distinctions of degree," could
"perceive no difference in the kind or degree of interference with liberty, the only matter with which we have any concern, between the one case and the other. The bargain is equally affected whichever half you regulate."
Id., p. 261 U. S. 569.
One of the points which was pressed by the Court in supporting its ruling in the Adkins case was that the standard set up by the District of Columbia Act did not take appropriate account of the value of the services rendered. In the Morehead case, the minority thought that the New York statute had met that point in its definition of a "fair wage," and that it accordingly presented a distinguishable feature which the Court could recognize within the limits which the Morehead petition for certiorari was deemed to present. The Court, however, did not take that view, and the New York Act was held to be essentially the same as that for the District of Columbia. The statute now before us is like the latter, but we are unable to conclude that, in its minimum wage requirement, the State has passed beyond the boundary of its broad protective power.
The minimum wage to be paid under the Washington statute is fixed after full consideration by representatives of employers, employees and the public. It may be assumed that the minimum wage is fixed in consideration of the services that are performed in the particular occupations under normal conditions. Provision is made for special licenses at less wages in the case of women who are incapable of full service. The statement of Mr. Justice Holmes in the Adkins case is pertinent:
"This statute does not compel anybody to pay anything. It simply forbids employment at rates below those fixed as
the minimum requirement of health and right living. It is safe to assume that women will not be employed at even the lowest wages allowed unless they earn them, or unless the employer's business can sustain the burden. In short the law, in its character and operation, is like hundreds of so-called police laws that have been upheld."
261 U.S. p. 261 U. S. 570. And Chief Justice Taft forcibly pointed out the consideration which is basic in a statute of this character:
"Legislatures which adopt a requirement of maximum hours or minimum wages may be presumed to believe that, when sweating employers are prevented from paying unduly low wages by positive law, they will continue their business, abating that part of their profits which were wrung from the necessities of their employees, and will concede the better terms required by the law, and that, while in individual cases hardship may result, the restriction will enure to the benefit of the general class of employees in whose interest the law is passed, and so to that of the community at large."
Id., p. 261 U. S. 563.
We think that the views thus expressed are sound, and that the decision in the Adkins case was a departure from the true application of the principles governing the regulation by the State of the relation of employer and employed. Those principles have been reenforced by our subsequent decisions. Thus, in Radice v. New York, 264 U. S. 292, we sustained the New York statute which restricted the employment of women in restaurants at night. In O'Gorman & Young v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., 282 U. S. 251, which upheld an act regulating the commissions of insurance agents, we pointed to the presumption of the constitutionality of a statute dealing with a subject within the scope of the police power and to the absence of any factual foundation of record for deciding that the limits of power had been transcended. In Nebbia v. New York, 291 U. S. 502, dealing
with the New York statute providing for minimum prices for milk, the general subject of the regulation of the use of private property and of the making of private contracts received an exhaustive examination, and we again declared that, if such laws
"have a reasonable relation to a proper legislative purpose, and are neither arbitrary nor discriminatory, the requirements of due process are satisfied”.

15.               Slaughter House Cases 83 U.S. 16 Wall. 36 36 (1872)

Case Summary:
The legislature of Louisiana, on the 8th of March, 1869, passed an act granting to a corporation, created by it, the exclusive right, for twenty-five years, to have and maintain slaughterhouses, landings for cattle, and yards for inclosing cattle intended for sale or slaughter within the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard, in that State and prohibiting all other persons from building, keeping, or having slaughterhouses, landings for cattle, and yards for cattle intended for sale or slaughter, within those limits, and requiring that all cattle and other animals intended for sale or slaughter in that district, should be brought to the yards and slaughterhouses of the corporation, and authorizing the corporation to exact certain prescribed fees for the use of its wharves and for each animal landed, and certain prescribed fees for each animal slaughtered, besides the head, feet, gore, and entrails, except of swine. Held, that this grant of exclusive right or privilege, guarded by proper limitation of the prices to be charged, and imposing the duty of providing ample conveniences, with permission to all owners of stock to land, and of all butchers to slaughter at those places, was a police regulation for the health and comfort of the people (the statute locating them where health and comfort required), within the power of the state legislatures, unaffected by the Constitution of the United States previous to the adoption of the thirteenth and fourteenth articles of amendment.
Excerpt on pages 13-14:
The proposition is therefore reduced to these terms: can any exclusive privileges be granted to any of its citizens, or to a corporation, by the legislature of a State?
The eminent and learned counsel who has twice argued the negative of this question has displayed a research into the history of monopolies in England and the European continent only equalled by the eloquence with which they are denounced.
But it is to be observed that all such references are to monopolies established by the monarch in derogation of the rights of his subjects, or arise out of transactions in which the people were unrepresented, and their interests uncared for. The great Case of Monopolies, reported by Coke and so fully stated in the brief, was undoubtedly a contest of the commons against the monarch. The decision is based upon the ground that it was against common law, and the argument was aimed at the unlawful assumption of power by the crown, for whoever doubted the authority of Parliament to change or modify the common law? The discussion in the House of Commons cited from Macaulay clearly
establishes that the contest was between the crown and the people represented in Parliament.
But we think it may be safely affirmed that the Parliament of Great Britain, representing the people in their legislative functions, and the legislative bodies of this country, have, from time immemorial to the present day, continued to grant to persons and corporations exclusive privileges -- privileges denied to other citizens -- privileges which come within any just definition of the word monopoly, as much as those now under consideration, and that the power to do this has never been questioned or denied. Nor can it be truthfully denied that some of the most useful and beneficial enterprises set on foot for the general good have been made successful by means of these exclusive rights, and could only have been conducted to success in that way.
It may, therefore, be considered as established that the authority of the legislature of Louisiana to pass the present statute is ample unless some restraint in the exercise of that power be found in the constitution of that State or in the amendments to the Constitution of the United States, adopted since the date of the decisions we have already cited.
If any such restraint is supposed to exist in the constitution of the State, the Supreme Court of Louisiana having necessarily passed on that question, it would not be open to review in this court.

16.               Massachusetts Bd. of Retirement v. Murgia, 427 U.S. 307 (1976)

Case Summary:

Appellee Robert Murgia was an officer in the Uniformed Branch of the Massachusetts State Police. The Massachusetts Board of Retirement retired him upon his 50th birthday. Appellee brought this civil action in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. A Massachusetts statute making it mandatory for a uniformed state police officer to retire at age 50 held not to deny equal protection of the laws in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Excerpt on pages 4-5:
We turn then to examine this state classification under the rational basis standard. This inquiry employs a relatively relaxed standard reflecting the Court's awareness that the drawing of lines that create distinctions is peculiarly a legislative task and an unavoidable one. Perfection in making the necessary classifications is neither possible nor necessary. Dandridge v. Williams, supra at 397 U. S. 485. Such action by a legislature is presumed to be valid. [Footnote 5]
In this case, the Massachusetts statute clearly meets the requirements of the Equal Protection Clause, for the State's classification rationally furthers the purpose identified by the State: [Footnote 6] through mandatory retirement at age 50, the legislature seeks to protect the public by assuring physical preparedness of its uniformed police. [Footnote 7]
Since physical ability generally declines with age, mandatory retirement at 50 serves to remove from police service those whose fitness for uniformed work presumptively has diminished with age. This clearly is rationally related to the State's objective. [Footnote 8] There is no indication
that § 26(3)(a) has the effect of excluding from service so few officers who are in fact unqualified as to render age 50 a criterion wholly unrelated to the objective of the statute. [Footnote 9]
That the State chooses not to determine fitness more precisely through individualized testing after age 50 is not to say that the objective of assuring physical fitness is not rationally furthered by a maximum age limitation. It is only to say that, with regard to the interest of all concerned, the State perhaps has not chosen the best means to accomplish this purpose. [Footnote 10] But where rationality is the test, a State "does not violate the Equal Protection Clause merely because the classifications made by its laws are imperfect." Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. at 397 U. S. 485.
We do not make light of the substantial economic and psychological effects premature and compulsory retirement can have on an individual; nor do we denigrate the ability of elderly citizens to continue to contribute to society. The problems of retirement have been well documented
and are beyond serious dispute. [Footnote 11] But
"[w]e do not decide today that the [Massachusetts statute] is wise, that it best fulfills the relevant social and economic objectives that [Massachusetts] might ideally espouse, or that a more just and humane system could not be devised."
Id. at 397 U. S. 487. We decide only that the system enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature does not deny appellee equal protection of the laws.
The judgment is reversed.

17.               Nebbia v. New York, 291 U.S. 502 (1934)

Case Summary:

A regulation fixing the price at which storekeepers may buy milk from milk dealers at a higher figure than that allowed dealers in buying from producers, and allowing dealers a higher price than it allows storekeepers in sales to consumers, held consistent with the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because of the distinctions between the two classes of merchants.

Excerpt from pages 8-9:

The Fifth Amendment, in the field of federal activity, [Footnote 14] and the Fourteenth, as respects state action, [Footnote 15] do not prohibit governmental regulation for the public welfare. They merely condition the exertion of the admitted power by securing that the end shall be accomplished by methods consistent with due process. And the guaranty of due process, as has often been held, demands only that the law shall not be unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, and that the means selected shall have a real and substantial relation to the object sought to be attained. It results that a regulation valid for one sort of business, or in given circumstances, may be invalid for another sort or for the same business under other circumstances, because the reasonableness of each regulation depends upon the relevant facts.
The reports of our decisions abound with cases in which the citizen, individual or corporate, has vainly invoked the Fourteenth Amendment in resistance to necessary and appropriate exertion of the police power.
The court has repeatedly sustained curtailment of enjoyment of private property in the public interest. The owner's rights may be subordinated to the needs of other private owners whose pursuits are vital to the paramount interests of the community. [Footnote 16] The state may control the
use of property in various ways; may prohibit advertising billboards except of a prescribed size and location, [Footnote 17] or their use for certain kinds of advertising; [Footnote 18] may in certain circumstances authorize encroachments by party walls in cities; [Footnote 19] may fix the height of buildings, the character of materials, and methods of construction, the adjoining area which must be left open, and may exclude from residential sections offensive trades, industries and structures likely injuriously to affect the public health or safety; [Footnote 20] or may establish zones within which certain types of buildings or businesses are permitted and others excluded. [Footnote 21] And although the Fourteenth Amendment extends protection to aliens as well as citizens, [Footnote 22] a state may for adequate reasons of policy exclude aliens altogether from the use and occupancy of land. [Footnote 23]
Laws passed for the suppression of immorality, in the interest of health, to secure fair trade practices, and to safeguard the interests of depositors in banks, have been found consistent with due process. [Footnote 24] These measures not
only affected the use of private property, but also interfered with the right of private contract. Other instances are numerous where valid regulation has restricted the right of contract, while less directly affecting property rights. [Footnote 25]
The Constitution does not guarantee the unrestricted privilege to engage in a business or to conduct it as one
pleases. Certain kinds of business may be prohibited; [Footnote 26] and the right to conduct a    business, or to pursue a calling, may be conditioned. [Footnote 27] Regulation of a business to prevent waste of the state's resources may be justified. [Footnote 28] And statutes prescribing the terms upon which those conducting certain businesses may contract, or imposing terms if they do enter into agreements, are within the state's competency. [Footnote 29]
Legislation concerning sales of goods, and incidentally affecting prices, has repeatedly been held valid. In this class fall laws forbidding unfair competition by the charging of lower prices in one locality than those exacted in another, [Footnote 30] by giving trade inducement to purchasers, [Footnote 31] and by other forms of price discrimination. [Footnote 32] The public policy with respect to free competition has engendered state and federal statutes prohibiting monopolies, [Footnote 33] which have been upheld. On the other hand, where the policy of the state dictate that a monopoly should be granted, statutes having that effect have been held inoffensive to the constitutional guarantees. [Footnote 34] Moreover, the state or a municipality may itself enter into business in competition with private proprietor, and thus effectively
although indirectly control the prices charged by them.

18.               Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)

Case Summary:

The Virginia statute providing for the sexual sterilization of inmates of institutions supported by the State who shall be found to be afflicted with an hereditary form of insanity or imbecility, is within the power of the State under the Fourteenth Amendment

Excerpt on page 3:

“In view of the general declarations of the legislature and the specific findings of the Court, obviously we cannot say as matter of law that the grounds do not exist, and, if they exist, they justify the result. We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.”

19.               CLEBURNE v. CLEBURNE LIVING CENTER, INC., 473 U.S. 432 (1985)

Case Summary:
Respondent Cleburne Living Center, Inc. (CLC), which anticipated leasing a certain building for the operation of a group home for the mentally retarded, was informed by petitioner city that a special use permit would be required, the city having concluded that the proposed group home should be classified as a "hospital for the feebleminded" under the zoning ordinance covering the area in which the proposed home would be located. Accordingly, CLC applied for a special use permit, but the City Council, after a public hearing, denied the permit. CLC and others (also respondents here) then filed suit against the city and a number of its officials, alleging that the zoning ordinance, on its face and as applied, violated the equal protection rights of CLC and its potential residents. The District Court held the ordinance and its application constitutional. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that mental retardation is a "quasi-suspect" classification; that, under the applicable "heightened-scrutiny" equal protection test, the ordinance was facially invalid because it did not substantially further an important governmental purpose; and that the ordinance was also invalid as applied.
1. The Court of Appeals erred in holding mental retardation a quasi-suspect classification calling for a more exacting standard of judicial review than is normally accorded economic and social legislation. Pp. 439-447.
(a) Where individuals in a group affected by a statute have distinguishing characteristics relevant to interests a State has the authority to implement, the Equal Protection Clause requires only that the classification drawn by the statute be rationally related to a legitimate state interest. When social or economic legislation is at issue, the Equal Protection Clause allows the States wide latitude. Pp. 439-442.

Excerpt on Pages 17-19:

Potentially discriminatory classifications exist only where some constitutional basis can be found for presuming that equal rights are required. Discrimination, in the Fourteenth Amendment sense, connotes a substantive constitutional judgment that two individuals or groups are entitled to be treated equally with respect to something. With regard to economic and commercial matters, no basis for such a conclusion exists, for as Justice Holmes urged the Lochner Court, the Fourteenth Amendment was not "intended to embody a particular economic theory . . . ." Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S., at 75 (dissenting). As a matter of substantive policy, therefore, government is free to move in any [473 U.S. 432, 471]   direction, or to change directions, 22 in the economic and commercial sphere. 23 The structure of economic and commercial life is a matter of political compromise, not constitutional principle, and no norm of equality requires that there be as many opticians as optometrists, see Williamson v. Lee Optical of Oklahoma, Inc., 348 U.S. 483 (1955), or new businesses as old, see New Orleans v. Dukes, 427 U.S. 297 (1976).
But the Fourteenth Amendment does prohibit other results under virtually all circumstances, such as castes created by law along racial or ethnic lines, see Palmore v. Sidoti, 466 U.S., at 432 -433; Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967); McLaughlin v. Florida, 379 U.S. 184 (1964); Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1, 23 (1948); Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 (1954), and significantly constrains the range of permissible government choices where gender or illegitimacy, for example, are concerned. Where such constraints, derived from the Fourteenth Amendment, are present, and where history teaches that they have systemically been ignored, a "more searching judicial inquiry" is required. United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144, 153 , n. 4 (1938).
That more searching inquiry, be it called heightened scrutiny or "second order" rational-basis review, is a method of [473 U.S. 432, 472]   approaching certain classifications skeptically, with judgment suspended until the facts are in and the evidence considered. The government must establish that the classification is substantially related to important and legitimate objectives, see, e. g., Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976), so that valid and sufficiently weighty policies actually justify the departure from equality. Heightened scrutiny does not allow courts to second-guess reasoned legislative or professional judgments tailored to the unique needs of a group like the retarded, but it does seek to assure that the hostility or thoughtlessness with which there is reason to be concerned has not carried the day. By invoking heightened scrutiny, the Court recognizes, and compels lower courts to recognize, that a group may well be the target of the sort of prejudiced, thoughtless, or stereotyped action that offends principles of equality found in the Fourteenth Amendment. Where classifications based on a particular characteristic have done so in the past, and the threat that they may do so remains, heightened scrutiny is appropriate. 24   [473 U.S. 432, 473]  
As the history of discrimination against the retarded and its continuing legacy amply attest, the mentally retarded have been, and in some areas may still be, the targets of action the Equal Protection Clause condemns. With respect to a liberty so valued as the right to establish a home in the community, and so likely to be denied on the basis of irrational fears and outright hostility, heightened scrutiny is surely appropriate.
In light of the scrutiny that should be applied here, Cleburne's ordinance sweeps too broadly to dispel the suspicion that it rests on a bare desire to treat the retarded as outsiders, pariahs who do not belong in the community. The Court, while disclaiming that special scrutiny is necessary or warranted, reaches the same conclusion. Rather than striking the ordinance down, however, the Court invalidates it merely as applied to respondents. I must dissent from the novel proposition that "the preferred course of adjudication" [473 U.S. 432, 474]   is to leave standing a legislative Act resting on "irrational prejudice" ante, at 450, thereby forcing individuals in the group discriminated against to continue to run the Act's gauntlet.
The Court appears to act out of a belief that the ordinance might be "rational" as applied to some subgroup of the retarded under some circumstances, such as those utterly without the capacity to live in a community, and that the ordinance should not be invalidated in toto if it is capable of ever being validly applied. But the issue is not "whether the city may never insist on a special use permit for the mentally retarded in an R-3 zone." Ante, at 447. The issue is whether the city may require a permit pursuant to a blunderbuss ordinance drafted many years ago to exclude all the "feeble-minded," or whether the city must enact a new ordinance carefully tailored to the exclusion of some well-defined subgroup of retarded people in circumstances in which exclusion might reasonably further legitimate city purposes.
By leaving the sweeping exclusion of the "feebleminded" to be applied to other groups of the retarded, the Court has created peculiar problems for the future. The Court does not define the relevant characteristics of respondents or their proposed home that make it unlawful to require them to seek a special permit. Nor does the Court delineate any principle that defines to which, if any, set of retarded people the ordinance might validly be applied. Cleburne's City Council and retarded applicants are left without guidance as to the potentially valid, and invalid, applications of the ordinance. As a consequence, the Court's as-applied remedy relegates future retarded applicants to the standardless discretion of low-level officials who have already shown an all too willing readiness to be captured by the "vague, undifferentiated fears," ante, at 449, of ignorant or frightened residents.
Invalidating on its face the ordinance's special treatment of the "feeble-minded," in contrast, would place the responsibility for tailoring and updating Cleburne's unconstitutional [473 U.S. 432, 475]   ordinance where it belongs: with the legislative arm of the city of Cleburne. If Cleburne perceives a legitimate need for requiring a certain well-defined subgroup of the retarded to obtain special permits before establishing group homes, Cleburne will, after studying the problem and making the appropriate policy decisions, enact a new, more narrowly tailored ordinance. That ordinance might well look very different from the current one; it might separate group homes (presently treated nowhere in the ordinance) from hospitals, and it might define a narrow subclass of the retarded for whom even group homes could legitimately be excluded. Special treatment of the retarded might be ended altogether. But whatever the contours such an ordinance might take, the city should not be allowed to keep its ordinance on the books intact and thereby shift to the courts the responsibility to confront the complex empirical and policy questions involved in updating statutes affecting the mentally retarded. A legislative solution would yield standards and provide the sort of certainty to retarded applicants and administrative officials that case-by-case judicial rulings cannot provide. Retarded applicants should not have to continue to attempt to surmount Cleburne's vastly overbroad ordinance.

20.               KOTCH v. BOARD OF RIVER PORT PILOT COM'RS FOR PORT OF NEW ORLEANS, 330 U.S. 552 (1947)

Case Summary:

Louisiana statutes provide in general that all seagoing vessels moving between New Orleans and foreign ports must be navigated through the Mississippi River approaches to the port of New Orleans and within it, exclusively by pilots who are State Officers. 1 New State pilots [330 U.S. 552, 554]   are appointed by the governor only upon certification of a State Board of River Pilot Commissioners, themselves pilots. 2 Only those who have served a six month apprenticeship under incumbent pilots and who possess other ecific qualifications may be certified to the governor by the board. 3 Appellants here have had at least fifteen years experience in the river, the port, and else [330 U.S. 552, 555]   where, as pilots of vessels whose pilotage was not governed by the State law in question. 4 Although they possess all the statutory qualifications except that they have not served the requisite six months apprenticeship under Louisiana officer pilots,5 they have been denied appointment as State pilots. Seeking relief in a Louisiana state court, they alleged that the incumbent pilots, having unfettered discretion under the law in the selection of apprentices, had selected with occasional exception, only the relatives and friends of incumbents; that the selections were made by electing prosepective apprentices into the pilots' association, which the pilots have formed by authority of State law;6 that since 'membership ... is closed to all except those having the favor of the pilots' the result is that only their relatives and friends have and can become State pilots. 7 The Supreme Court [330 U.S. 552, 556]   of Louisiana has held that the pilotage law so administered does not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, 209 La. 737, 25 So.2d 527.

Excerpt on pages 2-3:

The States have had full power to regulate pilotage of certain kinds of vessels since 1789 when the first Congress decided that then existing state pilot laws were satisfactory and made federal regulation unnecessary. 1 Stat. 53, 54 (1789), 46 U.S.C. 211, 46 U.S.C.A. 211; Olsen v. Smith, 195 U.S. 332, 341 , 25 S.Ct. 52, 53; Anderson v. Pacific Coast S.S. Co., 225 U.S. 187 , 32 S.Ct. 626. Louisiana legislation has controlled the activities and appointment of pilots since 1805-even before the Territory was admitted as a State. 15 The State pilotage system, as it has evolved since 1805, is typical of that which grew up [330 U.S. 552, 560]   in most seaboard states and in foreign countries. 16 Since 1805 Louisiana pilots have been State officers whose work has been controlled by the State. 17 That Act forbade all but a limited number of pilots appointed by the governor to serve in that capacity. The pilots so appointed were authorized to select their own deputies. 18 But pilots, and through them, their deputies, were literally under the command of the master and the wardens of the port of New Orleans, appointed by the governor. The master and wardens were authorized to make rules governing the practices of pilots, specifically empowered to order pilots to their stations, and to fine them for disobedience to orders or rules. And the pilots were required to make official bond for faithful performance of their duty. Pilots' fees were fixed;19 ships coming to the Mississippi were required to pay pilotage whether they took on pilots or not. 20 The pilots were authorized to organize an association whose membership they controlled in order 'to enforce the legal regulations, and add to the efficiency of the service required thereby.' 21 Moreover, efficient and adequate [330 U.S. 552, 561]   service was sought to be insured by requiring the Board of Pilot Commissioners to report to the governor and authorizing him simmarily to remove any pilot guilty of 'neglect of duty, habitual intemperance, carelessness, incompetency, or any act of conduct ... showing' that he 'ought to be removed.' La.Act. No. 113, 20 (1857). These provisions have been carried over with some revision into the present comprehensive Louisiana pilotage law. 6 La.Gen.Stat., cc. 6, 8 (1939). Thus in Louisiana, as elsewhere, it seems to have been accepted at an early date that in pilotage, unlike other occupations, competition for appointment, for the opportunity to serve particular ships and for fees, adversely affects the public interest in pilotage. 22   [330 U.S. 552, 562]   It is within the framework of this longstanding pilotage regulation system that the practice has apparently existed of permitting pilots, if they choose, to select their relatives and friends as the only ones ultimately eligible for appointment as pilots by the governor. Many other states have established pilotage systems which make the selection of pilots on this basis possible. 23 Thus it was noted thirty years ago in a Department of Commerce study of pilotage that membership of pilot associations 'is limited to persons agreeable to those already members, generally relatives and friends of the pilots. Probably in pilotage more than in any other occupation in the United States the male members of a family follow the same work from generation to generation.' 24 [330 U.S. 552, 563]   The practice of nepotism in appointing public servants has been a subject of controversy in this country throughout our history. Some states have adopted constitutional amendments25 or statutes,26 to prohibit it. These have reflected state policies to wipe out the practice. But Louisiana and most other states have adopted no such general policy. We can only assume that the Louisiana legislature weighed the obvious possibility of evil against whatever useful function a closely knit pilotage system may serve. Thus the advantages of early experience under friendly supervision in the locality of the pilot's training, the benefits to morale and esprit de corps which family and neighborly tradition might contribute, the close association in which pilots must work and live in their pilot communities and on the water, and the discipline and regulation which is imposed to assure the State competent pilot service after appointment, might have prompted the legislature to permit Louisiana pilot officers to select those which whom they would serve.
The number of people, as a practical matter, who can be pilots is very limited. No matter what system of selection is adopted, all but the few occasionally selected must of necessity be excluded. Cf. Olsen v. Smith, supra, 195 U.S. at pages 344, 345, 25 S.Ct. at pages 54, 55. 27 We are aware of no decision of this Court holding [330 U.S. 552, 564]   that the Constitution requires a state governor, or subordinates responsible to him and removable by him for cause, to select state public servants by competitive tests or by any other particular method of selection. The object of the entire pilotage law, as we have pointed out, is to secure for the State and others interested the safest and most efficiently operated pilotage system practicable. We cannot say that the method adopted in Louisiana for the selection of pilots is unrelated to this objective. See Olsen v. Smith, supra; cf. Carmichael v. Southern Coal Co., 301 U.S. 495, 509 , 510 S., 57 S.Ct. 868, 872, 873, 109 A. L.R. 1327. We do not need to consider hypothetical questions concerning any similar system of selection which might conceivably be practiced in other professions or businesses regulated or operated by state governments. It is enough here that considering the entirely unique institution of pilotage in the light of its history in Louisiana, we cannot say that the practice appellants attack is the kind of discrimination which violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

21.               WATSON v. STATE OF MARYLAND, 218 U.S. 173 (1910)

Case Summary:

The plaintiff in error was convicted in the circuit court of Allegany county, Maryland, for a violation of 99 of article 43 of the Maryland Code of 1904, for the offense of practising medicine in the state of Maryland without being registered in accordance with the provisions of 83 and 89 of the same article. The Maryland act in question, requiring registration of physicians, provides a comprehensive system for the regulation of the practice of medicine and surgery, and, concerning the necessity of registration, enacts (art. 43, 83):
'All persons, except physicians who were practising medicine in this state prior to the 1st day of January, 1898, who are now practising medicine or surgery, and can prove by affidavit that within one year of said date said physician had treated in his professional capacity at least twelve persons, who shall commence the practice of medicine or surgery in any of their branches after the 11th day of April, 1902, shall make a written application for license to the president of either board of medical examiners,' etc.
The statute requires proof of good moral character, certain school education, and makes provision as to the effect of diplomas from certain medical colleges, and as to other and various details required of an applicant for the practice of medicine or surgery.
Excerpt on pages 2-3:
It is too well settled to require discussion at this day that the police power of the states extends to the regulation of certain trades and callings, particularly those which closely concern the public health. There is perhaps no profession more properly open to such regulation than that which embraces the practitioners of medicine. Dealing, as its followers do, with the lives and health of the people, and requiring for its successful practice general education and technical skill, as well as good character, it is obviously one of those vocations where the power of the state may be exerted to see that only properly qualified persons shall undertake its responsible and difficult duties. To this end many of the states of the Union have enacted statutes which require the practitioner of medicine to submit to an examination by a competent board of physicians and surgeons, and to receive duly authenticated certificates showing that they are deemed to possess the necessary qualifications of learning, skill, and character essential to their calling. In Dent v. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114 , 32 L. ed. 623, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 231, the subject is elaborately considered, and this view affirmed by Mr. Justice Field, speaking for the court. [218 U.S. 173, 177]   In such statutes there are often found exceptions in favor of those who have practised their calling for a period of years. In the Dent Case, supra, an exception was made in favor of practitioners of medicine who had continuously practised their profession for ten years prior to a date shortly before the enactment of the law. Such exception proceeds upon the theory that those who have acceptably followed the profession in the community for a period of years may be assumed to have the qualifications which others are required to manifest as a result of an examination before a board of medical experts. In the statute under consideration, the excepted class were those who had practised before the 1st day of January, 1898, being more than four years before the passage of the law, and who could show, presumably with a view to establishing that they were actively practising at that time, that they had treated at least twelve persons within one year of that date.
Conceding the power of the legislature to make regulations of this character, and to exempt the experienced and accepted physicians from the requirements of an examination and certificate, the details of such legislation rest primarily within the discretion of the state legislature. It is the lawmaking body, and the Federal courts can only interfere when fundamental rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution are violated in the enactment of such statutes.
This subject has been so frequently and recently before this court as not to require an extended consideration. The right to regulate occupations was considered by this court at the present term in the case of Williamsv. Arkansas, 217 U.S. 79 , 54 L. ed. --, 30 Sup. Ct. Rep. 493, in which it was held that a state statute which prohibited a certain class of drumming or soliciting of business on trains did not amount to a denial of the equal protection of the law. In that case the recent cases in this court were reviewed and [218 U.S. 173, 178]   followed. It was therein held that regulations of a particular trade or business essential to the public health and safety were within the legislative capacity of the state in the exercise of its police power, and that unless such regulations are so unreasonable and extravagant as to interfere with property and personal rights of citizens, unnecessarily and arbitrarily, they are within the power of the state; and that the classification of the subjects of such legislation, so long as such classification has a reasonable basis, and is not merely arbitrary selection without real difference between the subjects included and those omitted from the law, does not deny to the citizen the equal protection of the laws. Applying these tests, we see nothing arbitrary or oppressive in the classification of physicians subject to the provisions of this statute, which excludes from its requirements those who have practised prior to January 1, 1898, and were able to show that they had treated at least twelve persons in a professional way within a year of that date.

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