Booth v. Illinois
184 U.S. 425 (1902)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Booth v. Illinois, 184 U.S. 425 (1902)

Booth v. Illinois

No. 201

Argued November 6, 1901

Decided March 3, 1902

184 U.S. 425

Syllabus

If, looking at all the circumstances which attend or may ordinarily attend the pursuit of a particular calling, a state thinks that certain admitted evils cannot be successfully reached unless that calling be actually prohibited, the courts cannot interfere unless, looking through mere forms and at the substance of the matter, they can say that the statute, enacted professedly to protect the public morals, has no real or substantial relation to that object, but is a clear, unmistakable infringement of rights secured by the fundamental law.

It must be assumed with regard to section 130 of the Criminal Code of Illinois touching options to sell or buy grain or other property at a future time, that the legislature of the state was of opinion that an effectual mode to suppress gambling grain contracts was to declare illegal all options to sell or buy at a future time, and this Court cannot say that the means employed were not appropriate to the end sought to be attained and which it was competent for the state to accomplish.

This Court cannot adjudge that the Legislature of Illinois transcended the limits of constitutional authority, when it enacted the statute in question.

Page 184 U. S. 426

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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