BACON V. WALKER, 204 U. S. 311 (1907)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bacon v. Walker, 204 U.S. 311 (1907)

Bacon v. Walker

No. 147

Argued January 10, 1907

Decided February 4, 1907

204 U.S. 311


The police power of a state embraces regulations designed to promote the public convenience or the general prosperity as well as those to promote public health, morals or safety; it is not confined to the suppression of what is offensive, disorderly or unsanitary, but extends to what is for the greatest welfare of the state.

Page 204 U. S. 312

Fixing in a police regulation, otherwise valid, the distance from habitations within which an occupation cannot be carried on is a legislative act with which the courts can only interfere in a case clearly of abuse of power.

A classification in grazing countries of sheep, as distinguished from other cattle, is not unreasonable and arbitrary in a regulation regarding the use of public lands within the meaning of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Sections 1210, 1211, Revised Statutes of Idaho, prohibiting the herding and grazing of sheep on or within two miles of land or processory claims of persons other than the owner of the sheep, having been construed by the highest court of that state as not affecting the right of the owner of sheep to graze them on his own lands but only on the public domain, is not unconstitutional as depriving the owner of sheep of his property without due process of law because he cannot pasture them on public domain, or as an arbitrary and unreasonable discrimination against the owners of sheep, as distinguished from other cattle, and is a proper and reasonable exercise of the police power of the state.

81 P. 155 affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 204 U. S. 313

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