Landmark US Supreme Court rulings throughout history

Published: Friday, Jan. 16 2015 3:00 p.m. MST

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Date Decided: April 14, 1873

Chief Justice Presiding: Salmon P. Chase

Vote Split: 5-4

Summary: In 1869, the State of Louisiana authorized a private company, the Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughterhouse Company, to control and oversee all the slaughtering of animals in New Orleans. The state was trying to solve the “sanitation nightmare” created by the practice of dumping animal waste into the city’s water supply.

Over 400 independent butchers united to sue Louisiana because the law banned any other slaughterhouse from operating in New Orleans.

The butchers felt their 14th Amendment rights had been violated. In the words of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Freeman Miller, "This statute is denounced [by the butchers] not only as creating a monopoly and conferring odious and exclusive privileges upon a small number of persons at the expense of the great body of the community of New Orleans, but it is asserted that it deprives a large and meritorious class of citizens — the whole of the butchers of the city — of the right to exercise their trade."

The Supreme Court ruled that the butchers’ 14th Amendment rights had not been violated because the privileges or immunities clause extended only to rights of United States citizenship and not state citizenship.

Upheld: This ruling upheld Louisiana's ability to charter a private company to oversee the butchering industry.
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Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

The list should have included Bush v.Gore. History will show this to be one of the very worst and politically motivated decisions in history. Even Sandra Day O'Conner is now questioning her position on this case that gave us a President not elected by the people but rather selected by the Supreme Court.

Pheonix, AZ

@Mike in Cedar City:
"The list should have included Bush v.Gore."

The list should also (and eventually will) include the upcoming court decision on homosexual marriage... which will signal the beginning of the death of marriage.

Bountiful, UT

If defense of traditional marriage is the goal we ought to be grateful that gays have come out of the closet. It used to be common that gay people would marry the opposite sex out of societal pressure. Now that they have come out and are able to marry their own this will no longer happen. People who enter into a straight marriage will no longer be stuck with somebody who can't appreciate them.

Churches and conservatives who say this hurts traditional marriage don't know what they're talking about. There practice of shaming homosexuals and causing them to marry heterosexuals was itself damaging to traditional marriage.


Our Heavenly Father, knows it all, has never and will never make mistakes. Only men make mistares. Our Heavenly Father loves us all regardless of our behavior. Incredible but true.

Salt Lake City, UT

@ denalilady Incredible is right.

Clearfield, UT

I passed with 100 percent

Farmington, UT

This test is waaaaay tooooooooooo easy. Anyone who cannot get 100% on it should not be allowed to vote in the next election. Talk about softball questions......

By the way, this test isn't about recent wars, elections, marriage or any other political stance. Quit with the smoke screens and side bars already, ok, and just take the test.

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