Northwestern Laundry v. City of Des Moines,
239 U.S. 486 (1916)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Northwestern Laundry v. City of Des Moines, 239 U.S. 486 (1916)

Northwestern Laundry v. City of Des Moines

No. 121

Argued December 9, 1915

Decided January 10, 1916

239 U.S. 486


Where the decree of the district court is a general one, and there is no attempt to make separate issue on the question of jurisdiction, but the constitutional question is the basis of appeal to this Court, the appeal brings up the whole case.

Where no state statute is shown giving an adequate remedy at law to one endeavoring to enjoin enforcement of an ordinance, this Court must deal with the questions both state and federal as they appear on the face of the bill.

A state may, by direct legislation or through authorized municipalities, declare the emission of dense smoke in cities or populous neighborhoods a nuisance and restrain it, and regulations to that effect, if not arbitrary, are not unconstitutional under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment even though they affect the use of property or subject the owner to expense in complying with their terms.

Whether a statute which repeals a former statute but reenacts the identical matter affects the validity of ordinances established under the earlier statute is a state matter.

The state courts not having passed upon the question of whether the ordinance involved in this case is in excess of the legislative grant, this Court finds that it is not, and also finds that the Smoke Abatement Ordinance of Des Moines, Iowa, is not invalid under the state statute.

An ordinance, otherwise valid, which applies equally to all coming within its terms is not unconstitutional as denying equal protection of the law if there is reasonable basis for the classification, even though other businesses not affected might have been included within its scope.

The fact that a state police statute includes certain municipalities and omits others does not render it unconstitutional as denying equal protection of the law.

The Des Moines Smoke Abatement Ordinance is not unconstitutional

Page 239 U. S. 487

under the due process or equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment, nor is it in excess of the power of the city under the existing statutes of the Iowa.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality under the due process and equal protection provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment, and also the validity under the state laws and constitution, of the Smoke Abatement Ordinance of the City of Des Moines, Iowa, are stated in the opinion.

Page 239 U. S. 489

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