NOBLE STATE BANK V. HASKELL, 219 U. S. 104 (1911)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Noble State Bank v. Haskell, 219 U.S. 104 (1911)

Noble State Bank v. Haskell

No. 71

Argued December 7, 8, 1910

Decided January 3, 1911

219 U.S. 104


The charter of a corporation which is subject to the usual reserved powers to alter or repeal is not impaired unless the subsequent statute deprives it of property without due process of law.

The broad words of the Fourteenth Amendment are not to be pushed to a drily logical extreme, and the courts will be slow to strike down as unconstitutional legislation of the states enacted under the police power.

Where the mutual advantage is a sufficient compensation, an ulterior public advantage may justify a comparatively insignificant taking of private property for what in its immediate purpose is a private use. The police power extends to all the great public needs, Canfield v. United States, 167 U. S. 518, and includes the enforcement of commercial

Page 219 U. S. 105

conditions such as the protection of bank deposits and checks drawn against them by compelling cooperation so as to prevent failure and panic.

The dividing line between what is and what is not constitutional under the police power of the state is pricked out by gradual approach and contact of decisions on opposing sides, and while the use of public credit to aid individuals on a large scale is unconstitutional, a statute compelling banks to contribute to a guarantee fund to protect deposits, such as that of Oklahoma under consideration in this case, is constitutional.

The Fourteenth Amendment does not prohibit states from forbidding a man to do things simply because he might do them at common law, and so held that, where public interests so demand, that Amendment does not prohibit a state's placing the banking business under legislative control and prohibiting it except under prescribed conditions.

The Acts of December 17, 1907, and March 11, 1909, of Oklahoma, subjecting state banks to assessments for a Depositors' Guaranty Fund are within the police power of the state, and do not deprive banks assessed of their property without due process of law or deny to them the equal protection of the law, nor do they impair the obligation of the charter contracts.

22 Okl. 48 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality of the Oklahoma Bank Depositors' Guaranty Fund Acts, are stated in the opinion.

Page 219 U. S. 109

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