Weaver v. Palmer Brothers Co.
270 U.S. 402 (1926)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Weaver v. Palmer Brothers Co., 270 U.S. 402 (1926)

Weaver v. Palmer Brothers Company

No. 510

Argued December 11, 1925

Decided March 8, 1926

270 U.S. 402

Syllabus

1. Legislative determinations are entitled to great weight, but it is always open to interested parties to show that the legislature has transgressed the limits of its power. P. 270 U. S. 410.

2. Invalidity of a legislative act may be shown by things that may be judicially noticed, or by facts established by evidence, the burden being on the attacking party to establish the invalidating facts. P. 270 U. S. 410.

Page 270 U. S. 403

3. A state law (Pa.Ls.1923, c. 802) forbidding the use, in comfortables, of shoddy, even when sterilized, is so far arbitrary and unreasonable that it violates the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 270 U. S. 410, 270 U. S. 415.

4. Without considering whether the mere failure of the Act to prohibit the use of other filling materials is sufficient to invalidate the prohibition of the use of shoddy as a violation of the equal protection clause, the number and character of the things permitted to be used in such manufacture properly may be taken into account in deciding whether the prohibition of shoddy is a reasonable and valid regulation or is arbitrary and violative of the due process clause. P. 270 U. S. 412.

5. Such a prohibition cannot be sustained, as a health measure, in face of evidence showing that shoddy, even when composed of second-hand materials, is rendered harmless by sterilization, and in face of permission in the same Act to use numerous other kinds of materials if sterilized when second-hand. P. 270 U. S. 411.

6. Nor can such prohibition be sustained as a measure to prevent deception, since deception may be avoided by adequate regulations. P. 270 U. S. 414.

7. Constitutional guaranties cannot be made to yield to mere convenience. P. 270 U. S. 415.

8. Every opinion of the Court is to be read with regard to the facts of the case and the question actually decided. Powell v. Pennsylvania,127 U. S. 678, distinguished. P. 270 U. S. 414.

3 F.2d 333 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the district court enjoining the defendant (appellant), an official of Pennsylvania, from enforcing against the plaintiff (appellee) a law of that state regulating the manufacture and sale of bedding, insofar as it forbade the use of shoddy. Plaintiff manufactured comfortables in Connecticut, using shoddy made of new and second-hand materials, and sold its product in Pennsylvania. See also 266 U.S. 588.

Page 270 U. S. 408

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