Butchers’ Benevolent Association of New Orleans v. Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughterhouse Co. (1872)

All the meat a man can eat.
All the meat a man can eat.

Key Facts—The Louisiana legislature gave the Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughterhouse Co. a monopoly on livestock landing and slaughter in New Orleans, requiring that any person be allowed to slaughter animals in the slaughterhouse for a fixed fee. Butchers sued on the grounds that this violated their rights to practice their trade and enjoy equal protection and due process, forcing them into involuntary servitude.

Issue—Do the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments apply to blocking a state-created monopoly?

Holding—Not in this case , and probably never.

Result—Lower court ruling affirmed.

Reasoning—These Amendments to the Constitution were enacted to end violations by the states of African-American rights, along with future possible discrimination. Due process doesn’t apply, because the butchers haven’t be deprived of any property. Equal protection doesn’t apply, because the court construes it as being directed primarily at minority rights.

Do you really want to mess with him?
Do you really want to mess with him?
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