Quong Wing v. Kirkendall,
Annotate this Case
223 U.S. 59 (1912)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Quong Wing v. Kirkendall, 223 U.S. 59 (1912)
Quong Wing v. Kirkendall
Argued December 18, 1911
Decided January 22, 1912
223 U.S. 59
A state does not deny equal protection of the laws by adjusting its revenue laws to favor certain industries.
A state, like the United States, although with more restrictions and to a less degree, may carry out a policy even if the courts may disagree as to the wisdom thereof. In carrying out its policy, a state may make discriminations so long as they are not unreasonable or purely arbitrary.
On the record as presented in this case, and without prejudice to determining the question, if raised in a different way, the statute of
Montana imposing a license fee on hand laundries doe not appear to be an unconstitutional denial of equal protection of the law because it does not apply to steam laundries and because it exempts from its operation laundries not employing more than two women.
The Fourteenth Amendment doe not interfere with state legislation by creating a fictitious equality where there is a real difference.
Quaere whether this statute is aimed directly at the Chinese, in which case it might be a discrimination denying equal protection.
When counsel do not bring the facts before it, the court is not bound to make inquiries.
Courts sometimes enforce laws which would be declared invalid if attacked in a different manner.
39 Mont. 6 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the constitutionality of a laundry license act of Montana, are stated in the opinion.