Schmidinger v. Chicago
226 U.S. 578 (1913)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Schmidinger v. Chicago, 226 U.S. 578 (1913)

Schmidinger v. Chicago

No. 115

Argued December 20, 1912

Decided January 13, 1913

226 U.S. 578

Syllabus

The right of the legislature, or the municipality under legislative authority, to regulate one trade and not another is well settled as not denying equal protection of the laws.

The right of the legislature, or the municipality acting under state authority, to regulate trades and callings in the exercise of the police power without federal interference under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is also well settled. Gundling v. Chicago,177 U. S. 183.

The making and selling of bread, particularly in large cities, is obviously a trade subject to police regulation.

Local legislative authorities, and not the courts, are primarily the judges of the necessities of local situations calling for police regulation,

Page 226 U. S. 579

and the courts can only interfere when such regulation arbitrarily exceeds a reasonable exercise of authority.

The fact that laws prescribing standard sizes of loaves of bread and prohibiting the sale of other sizes have been sustained by the courts of several states shows the necessity for police regulation of the subject.

Mere inconvenience to merchants conducting a business subject to police regulation does not vitiate the exercise of the power.

There is no absolute liberty of contract, and limitations thereon by police regulations of the state are frequently necessary in the interest of public welfare, and do not violate the freedom of contract guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. C., B. & Q. R. Co. v. McGuire,219 U. S. 549.

The ordinance of Chicago of 1908 enacted under legislative authority, fixing standard sizes of bread loaves and prohibiting the sale of other sizes, is not unconstitutional as depriving those dealing therein of their property without due process of law or as denying them equal protection of the law or as interfering with their liberty of contract.

245 Ill. 317 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality under the Fourteenth Amendment of the bread loaf ordinance of the City of Chicago, are stated in the opinion.

Page 226 U. S. 583

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