Butcher's Union Slaughterhouse v. Crescent City Slaughterhouse 111 U.S. 746 (1884)
BUTCHER'S UNION SLAUGHTERHOUSE v. CRESCENT CITY SLAUGHTERHOUSE 111 U.S. 746 (1884)
In this case the inalienable police power doctrine again defeated a vested rights claim based on the contract clause. Louisiana revoked a charter of monopoly privileges, which the Supreme Court had sustained in the first of the slaughterhouse cases (1873). Although the contract was supposedly irrepealable for a period of twenty-five years, the Court, in an opinion by Justice samuel f. miller, maintained that one legislature cannot bind its successors on a matter involving the general welfare, specifically the public health. No legislature can contract away the state's inalienable power to govern slaughterhouses, which affect the public health. Four Justices, concurring separately, argued that the original monopoly was unconstitutional and its charter revocable, because it violated the liberty and property of competing butchers; the four employed substantive due process in construing the fourteenth amendment.
Leonard W. Levy