Case Study: West Coast Hotel Co. V. Parrish

957 Words 4 Pages
This case requires us to reconcile a conflict between Marsh, Olympus imposing an ordinance and enforcing penalties on people who sell home-made baked goods out of a home that has not been inspected by the Marsh Health Department for health purposes. The Marsh Health Department inspected homes within a 70-mile radius of its city, but did not cross state borders. The question presented is whether the city of Marsh, acting under the authority granted to it by the due process clause in the 14th Amendment, overstepped its constitutional boundaries in enacting the ordinance. Mary G, an out-of-state citizen living three miles south of Marsh, requested and was denied a home inspection by the Marsh Health Department. She continued selling her baked …show more content…
Liberty of contract would not apply because there is rational basis for the ordinance enacted by Marsh. In West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, the court applied this rational basis standard and questions liberty of contract. “The Constitution does not speak of freedom of contract. It speaks of liberty and prohibits the deprivation of liberty without due process of law… Liberty under the Constitution is thus necessarily subject to the restraints of due process, and regulation which is reasonable in relation to its subject and is adopted in the interests of the community is due process” (West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 1937). From past precedent in Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 1896, it is proven that there is a linkage between economic liberty and due process. However, the decision in it does not apply to this case because Allgeyer and Company’s liberty of doing business outside the state of Louisiana was indeed violated. This was a unanimous decision of the Court, as it was clear to them that there was a violation just as it is clear to us now as the ordinance was …show more content…
Board of Wardens, 1851, there was no violation of the Constitution’s commerce clause regulating interstate commerce because the interstate action varied per state. Each area has diverse conditions, and in the city of Marsh, there is a condition in which there has been a severe outbreak of food poisoning. The health objectives are found, by this Court, to be sufficient enough to defend the ordinance. In addition, to say one person’s livelihood is affected is a stretch and is not rationally related to the legitimate state end of protecting the welfare of the people (Cooley v. Board of Wardens, 1851). This Court finds the state’s interest outweighing the burden of those whose homes are not inspected not being able to sell their homemade baked goods. The state police power cannot violate Mary G’s right to make baked goods, but they can say that she cannot sell them without having the private premises inspected due to health reasons (Mungler v. Kansas, 1887). The Slaughterhouse Cases, 1837, were found to not violate the 14th amendment because the unfairness was procedural. Even though Mary G claims unfairness and an undue burden, there is in fact no unfairness as the state is allowed to police itself and pass ordinances based on health and well-being of its citizens. This Court also finds precedent set in Dean Milk Co. v. Madison, 1951, does not apply as there were other options then, such as sending the inspectors and billing

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