RAIL & RIVER COAL CO. V. YAPLE, 236 U. S. 338 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rail & River Coal Co. v. Yaple, 236 U.S. 338 (1915)

Rail & River Coal Company v. Yaple

No. 513

Argued December 1, 1914

Decided February 23, 1915

236 U.S. 338


A state police statute regulating the basis for compensation of miners on the run of the mine subject to regulations of an industrial commission, but which makes the orders of the Commission only prima facie reasonable and provides for their prompt judicial review, and which does not prevent employers from screening the coal as they desire for marketing it, amply protects the rights of the employers. Only alleged infractions of the constitutional rights of those attacking the statute can be considered in determining its constitutionality.

That a state may, without violating the due process provision of the Fourteenth Amendment, place reasonable restraints upon liberty of contract, Chicago &c. R. Co. v. Maguire, 219 U. S. 549, applies to prescribing methods for compensation of miners for producing coal. McLean v. Arkansas, 211 U. S. 539.

Coal mining is a proper subject for police regulation, and it is for the legislature of the state to determine, so long as its action is not arbitrary,

Page 236 U. S. 339

the measure of relief in regard to evils to be corrected in connection therewith.

It is not the province of the court to revise conclusions which men versed in a business have found practicable; nor will this Court do so in advance of the law authorizing a commission composed of such men to prescribe regulations being put into effect.

A state police statute will not be declared unconstitutional as denying due process of law on the ground that the penalties are excessive in a suit brought to enjoin the enforcement of the statute and in which penalties are not involved, nor where, as in this case, the penalties are not so excessive as to prevent a resort to the courts to test the constitutionality of the statute.

The Ohio Run of Mine or Anti-Screen Law of 1914 is not unconstitutional under the due process provision of the Fourteenth Amendment either as taking the property of employees without due process of law, or by denying them an opportunity to be heard, nor by unreasonably abridging their liberty of contract, nor for prescribing unreasonable conditions as to screening the coal and ascertaining the amount of impurities therein by the Industrial Commission, nor does it exceed the power of the legislature of the state under the constitution of the state.

214 F.2d 3 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality both under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and similar provisions of the constitution of the Ohio of the "Run of Mine" or "Anti-Screen" Coal Mine Law of 1914 of the State of Ohio, are stated in the opinion.

Page 236 U. S. 342

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