Fort Smith Light & Traction Co. v. Board of Improvement,
274 U.S. 387 (1927)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Fort Smith Light & Traction Co. v. Board of Improvement, 274 U.S. 387 (1928)

Fort Smith Light and Traction Company v. Board of

Improvement of Paving District No. 16 of Fort Smith

No. 269

Submitted March 17, 1927

Decided May 16, 1927

274 U.S. 387


1. Under the power reserved by the Arkansas Constitution to alter any corporate charter, the legislature may require a street railway which has surrendered its franchise for an indeterminate permit to pave the streets between its rails. P. 274 U. S. 389.

2. Such exercise of a reserved power to amend corporate charters by a requirement which might have been in the original charter and has some reasonable relation to the object of the grant and the duty of the state to maintain the highways is consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 274 U. S. 390.

3. The imposition of burdens, otherwise legitimate, upon a public service company cannot be held invalid as confiscatory because it is operating at rates which do not allow an adequate return. P. 274 U. S. 390.

Page 274 U. S. 388

4. A state law requiring the street railway in a particular municipality to do paving not required of other street railway elsewhere in the state not shown to be similar to it with respect to the location, use, and physical character of the street occupied by them is not a denial of the equal protection of the laws. P. 274 U. S. 391.

5. The Fourteenth Amendment does not require the uniform application of legislation to objects that are different where those differences may be made the rational basis of legislative discrimination. P. 274 U. S. 391.

169 Ark. 690 affirmed.

Error to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Arkansas which affirmed a judgment recovered by the Improvement Paving District in its action against the Traction Company. The judgment was for the amount expended by the plaintiff for street paving which defendant had declined to perform though required by statute.

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