TIGNER V. TEXAS, 310 U. S. 141 (1940)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Tigner v. Texas, 310 U.S. 141 (1940)

Tigner v. Texas

No. 635

Argued March 29, 1940

Decided May 6, 1940

310 U.S. 141


1. Since farmers and stockmen are widely scattered, and inured to habits of individualism, and economically are in large measure dependent upon contingencies beyond their control, a legislature may reasonably believe that combinations of farmers and stockmen restraining trade in their agricultural products and livestock present no threat to the community, or at least that the threat is of a different order from that of combinations of industrialists and middlemen. P. 310 U. S. 145.

2. Since Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U. S. 540, was decided, an impressive legislative movement bears witness to general acceptance of the view that the differences between agriculture and industry call for differentiation in the formulation of public policy. P. 310 U. S. 145.

3. The "laws" meant by the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment are not abstractions, but are expressions of policy arising out of specific difficulties, addressed to the attainment of specific ends by the use of specific remedies. The Constitution does not require things which are different in fact or opinion to be treated in law as though they were the same. P. 310 U. S. 147.

4. A Texas penal statute punishing conspiracies in restraint of trade but expressly inapplicable to "agricultural products or livestock while in the hands of the producer or raiser" held consistent with the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 310 U. S. 149.

5. In effectuating its policy with respect to combinations in restraint of trade, the Texas legislature, though exempting farmers and stockmen from penal remedies applicable to others, subjected them like others to civil penalties. Held within legislative discretion, and consistent with equal protection of the laws. P. 310 U. S. 149.

132 S.W.2d 885 affirmed.

Page 310 U. S. 142

Appeal from a judgment which affirmed a judgment denying a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and remanding the petitioner to custody under an indictment for conspiracy.

Page 310 U. S. 143

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