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The Slaughter-House Cases

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone

Citation. 83 U.S. 36, 21 L. Ed. 394, 872 U.S. 1139,16 Wall. 36.

Brief Fact Summary. A Louisiana statute gave the Slaughter-House Company exclusive rights to the New Orleans slaughterhouse business. Plaintiffs, a group of butchers (Plaintiffs) sued.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. In interpreting a provision of the United States Constitution (Constitution), it is necessary to look to the purpose for which the provision was enacted.

Facts. A Louisiana statute granted to the Crescent City Live-Stock Landing and Slaughter-House Company the exclusive rights to engage in the livestock landing and slaughterhouse business in the City of New Orleans. Plaintiffs argued that the monopoly granted to Slaughter-House violated several provisions of the Constitution.

Did the statute create an involuntary servitude, deny to Plaintiffs the equal protection of the laws, or deprive Plaintiffs of property without due process of the law?
Did the statute abridge the Privileges and Immunities of citizens of the United States in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment?

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