CHICAGO DOCK & CANAL CO. V. FRALEY, 228 U. S. 680 (1913)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Chicago Dock & Canal Co. v. Fraley, 228 U.S. 680 (1913)

Chicago Dock & Canal Co. v. Fraley


Argued May 2, 1913

Decided May 26, 1913

228 U.S. 680


Police legislation cannot be judged by abstract or theoretical comparisons, but it must be presumed to have been induced by actual experience. Even if disputable or crude, it may not violate the Fourteenth Amendment.

One who is not discriminated against cannot attack a police statute of the state because it does not go farther, and if what it enjoins of

Page 228 U. S. 681

one it enjoins of all others in the same class, that person cannot complain on account of matters of which neither he nor any of his class are enjoined.

The Constitution of the United States does not require that all state laws shall be perfect, nor that the entire field of proper legislation shall be covered by a single enactment. Rosenthal v. New York, 226 U. S. 260.

There may be different degrees of danger in construction of buildings and a classification based upon such degree as the legislature of the state determines may be proper, and so that the classification does not violate the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment. Mutual Loan Co. v. Martel, 222 U. S. 225.

The statute of Illinois providing for protecting elevating and hoisting machinery in buildings under construction is not unconstitutional as denying equal protection of the law, nor is the classification as to different methods of protecting different classes of buildings, both as to location in cities and villages and as to nature of use of buildings, based on too fine and minute distinctions. It is within the power of the legislature to determine such distinctions if all in the same situation are treated alike.

Even if some provisions of a statute are unconstitutional, if they do not affect plaintiff in error, this Court is not concerned with them, and cannot declare the whole statute unconstitutional as inseparable.

249 Ill. 210 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality, under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, of provisions of an Illinois statute in regard to the protection of hoists and elevators in buildings under construction, are stated in the opinion.

Page 228 U. S. 684

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