HOLDEN v. HARDY
MR. JUSTICE BROWN …delivered the opinion of the court.
This case involves the
constitutionality of an act of the legislature of
"SEC. 1. The period of employment of workingmen in all underground mines or workings shall be eight hours per day, except in cases of emergency where life or property is in imminent danger.
"SEC. 2. The period of employment of workingmen in smelters and all other institutions for the reduction or refining of ores or metals shall be eight hours per day, except in cases of emergency where life or property is in imminent danger.
[**384] "SEC. 3. Any person, body corporate, agent, manager or employer, who shall violate any of the provisions of sections one and two of this act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."
The Supreme Court of Utah was of opinion that if authority in the legislature were needed for the enactment of the statute in question, it was found in that part of article 16 of the constitution of the State, which declared that "the legislature shall [*381] pass laws to provide for the health and safety of employes in factories, smelters and mines." As the article deals exclusively with the rights of labor, it is here reproduced in full as exhibiting the authority under which the legislature acted, and as throwing light upon its intention in enacting the statute in question.
"SEC. 1. The rights of labor shall have just protection through laws calculated to promote the industrial welfare of the State.
"SEC. 2. The legislature shall provide by law for a board of labor, conciliation and arbitration which shall fairly represent the interests of both capital and labor. The board shall perform duties and receive compensation as prescribed by law.
"SEC. 3. The legislature shall prohibit:
"1. The employment of women, or of children under the age of fourteen years, in underground mines.
"2. The contracting of convict labor.
"3. The labor of convicts outside prison grounds, except on public works under the direct control of the State.
"4. The political and commercial control of employes.
"SEC. 4. The exchange of blacklists by railroad companies, or other corporations, associations or persons is prohibited.
"SEC. 5. The right of action to recover damages for injuries resulting in death shall never be abrogated, and the amount recoverable shall not be subject to any statutory limitation.
"SEC. 6. Eight hours shall constitute a day's work on all works or undertakings carried on or aided by the State, county or municipal governments; and the legislature shall pass laws to provide for the health and safety of employes in factories, smelters and mines.
"SEC. 7. The legislature, by appropriate legislation, shall provide for the enforcement of the provisos of this article."
The validity of the statute in question is, however, challenged upon the ground of an alleged violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, in that it abridges the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; deprives both the employer and the [*382] laborer of his property without due process of law, and denies to them the equal protection of the laws. As the three questions of abridging their immunities, depriving them of their property, and denying them the protection of the laws, are so connected that the authorities upon each are, to a greater or less extent, pertinent to the others, they may properly be considered together.
Prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment there was a similar provision against deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process of law incorporated in the Fifth Amendment; but as the first eight amendments to the Constitution were obligatory only upon Congress, the decisions of this court under this amendment have but a partial application to the Fourteenth Amendment, which operates only upon the action of the several States. The Fourteenth Amendment, which was finally adopted July 28, 1868, largely expanded the power of the Federal courts and Congress, and for the first time authorized the former to declare invalid all laws and judicial decisions of the States abridging the rights of citizens or denying them the benefit of due process of law.
This amendment was first called to the attention of this court in 1872, in an attack upon the constitutionality of a law of the State of Louisiana, passed in 1869, vesting in a slaughterhouse company therein named the sole and exclusive privilege of conducting and carrying on a live-stock landing and slaughter-house business, within certain limits specified in the act, and requiring all animals intended for sale and slaughter to be landed at their wharves or landing places. Slaughterhouse cases, 16 Wall. 36. While the court in that case recognized the fact that the primary object of this amendment was to secure to the colored race, then recently emancipated, the full enjoyment of their freedom, [***788] the further fact that it was not restricted to that purpose was admitted both in the prevailing and dissenting opinions, and the validity of the act was sustained as a proper police regulation for the health and comfort of the people. A majority of the cases which have since arisen have turned not upon a denial to the colored race of rights therein secured to them, but upon alleged discriminations [*383] in matters entirely outside of the political relations of the parties aggrieved.
These cases may be divided, generally, into two classes: First, where a state legislature, or a state court, is alleged to have unjustly discriminated in favor of or against a particular individual or class of individuals, as distinguished from the rest of the community, or denied them the benefit of due process of law; second, where the legislature has changed its general system of jurisprudence by abolishing what had been previously considered necessary to the proper administration of justice, or the protection of the individual.
Among those of the first class, which, for the sake of brevity, may be termed unjust discriminations, are those wherein the colored race was alleged to have been denied the right of representation upon juries, Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303; Virginia v. Rives, 100 U.S. 313; Ex parte Virginia, 100 U.S. 339; Neal v. Delaware, 103 U.S. 370; Bush v. Kentucky, 107 U.S. 110; Gibson v. Mississippi, 162 U.S. 565; as well as those wherein the State was charged with oppressing and unduly discriminating [**385] against persons of the Chinese race, Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27; Soon Hing v. Crowley, 113 U.S. 703; Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, and Chy Lung v. Freeman, 92 U.S. 275; and those wherein it was sought under this amendment to enforce the right of women to suffrage and to admission to the learned professions, Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162; Bradwell v. The State, 16 Wall. 130.
To this class are also referable all those cases wherein the state courts were alleged to have denied to particular individuals the benefit of due process of law secured to them by the statutes of the State, In re Converse, 137 U.S. 624; Arrowsmith v. Harmoning, 118 U.S. 194, as well as that other large class, to be more specifically mentioned hereafter, wherein the state legislature was charged with having transcended its proper police power in assuming to legislate for the health or morals of the community.
Cases arising under the second
class, wherein a State has chosen to change its methods of trial to meet a popular
demand [*384] for simpler and more expeditions forms of
administering justice, are much less numerous, though of even greater
importance, than the others. A reference
to a few of these cases may not be inappropriate in this connection. Thus, in Walker v. Sauvinet,
92 U.S. 90, which was an action brought
by a colored man against the keeper of a coffee-house in New Orleans for
refusing him refreshments in violation of the constitution of the State
securing to the colored race equal rights and privileges in such cases, a
statute of the State provided that such cases should be tried by jury, if
either party demanded it, but if the jury failed to agree the case should be
submitted to the judge, who should decide the same. It was held that a trial by jury was not a
privilege or immunity of citizenship which the States were forbidden to
abridge, but the requirement of due process of law was met if the trial was had
according to the settled course of judicial proceedings. "Due process of law." said Chief
Justice Waite, "is process due according to the
law of the land. This process in the
States is regulated by the law of the State." This law was held not to be
in conflict with the Constitution of the
Similar rulings with regard to the
necessity of a jury, or of a judicial trial in special proceedings, were made
in Kennard v. Louiviana, 92
In Hayes v. Missouri, 120 U.S. 68, it was held that a statute of a State which provided that, in capital cases, in cities having a population of over 100,000 inhabitants, the State [*385] shall be allowed fifteen peremptory challenges to jurors, while elsewhere in the State it was allowed only eight peremptory challenges, did not deny to a person tried for murder, in a city containing over 100,000 inhabitants, the equal protection of the laws enjoined by the Fourteenth Amendment, and that there was no error in refusing to limit the State's peremptory challenges to eight.
In Missouri Railway Co. v. Mackey, 127 U.S. 205, it was said that a statute in Kansas abolishing the fellow-servant doctrine as applied to railway accidents, did not deny to railroads the equal protection of the laws, and was not in conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment. The same ruling was made with reference to statutes requiring railways to erect and maintain fences and cattle-guards, and make them liable in double the amount of damages claimed for the want of them.
In Hallinger v. Davis, 146 U.S. 314, it was held that a state statute conferring upon an accused person the right to waive a trial by jury and to elect to be tried by the court, and conferring power upon the court to try the accused in such case, was not a violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
So, in In
re Kemmler, 136
An examination of both these
classes of cases under the Fourteenth Amendment will demonstrate that, in
passing upon the validity of state legislation under that amendment, this court
has not failed to recognize the fact that the law is, to a certain extent, a
progressive science; that in some of the States methods of procedure, which at
the time the Constitution [*386] was adopted were deemed essential to the
protection and safety of the people, or to the liberty of the citizen, have
been found to be no longer necessary; that restrictions which had formerly been
laid upon the conduct of individuals, or of classes [**386]
of individuals, had proved detrimental to their interests; while, upon
the other hand, certain other classes of persons, particularly those engaged in
dangerous or unhealthful employments, have been found to be in need of additional
protection. Even before the adoption of
the Constitution, much had been done toward mitigating the severity of the
common law, particularly in the administration of its criminal branch. The number of capital crimes, in this country at
least, had been largely decreased. Trial
by ordeal and by battle had never existed here, and had fallen into disuse in
The present century has originated legal reforms of no less importance. The whole fabric of special pleading, once thought to be necessary to the elimination of the real issue between the parties, has crumbled to pieces. The ancient tenures of real estate have been largely swept away, and land is now transferred almost as easily and cheaply as personal property. Married women have been emancipated from the control of their husbands and placed upon a practical equality with them with respect to the acquisition, possession and transmission of property. Imprisonment for debt has been abolished. Exemptions from execution have been largely added to, and in most of the States homesteads are rendered incapable of seizure and sale upon forced process. Witnesses are no longer incompetent by reason of interest, even though they be parties to the litigation. Indictments have been simplified, and an indictment for the most serious of crimes is now the simplest of all. In several of the States grand [*387] juries, formerly the only safeguard against a malicious prosecution, have been largely abolished, and in others the rule of unanimity, so far as applied to civil cases, has given way to verdicts rendered by a three fourths majority. This case does not call for an expression of opinion as to the wisdom of these changes, or their validity under the Fourteenth Amendment, although the substitution of prosecution by information in lieu of indictment was recognized as valid in Hurtads v. California, 110 U.S. 516. They are mentioned only for the purpose of calling attention to the probability that other changes of no less importance may be made in the future, and that while the cardinal principles of justice are immutable, the methods by which justice is administered are subject to constant fluctuation, and that the Constitution of the United States, which is necessarily and to a large extent inflexible and exceedingly difficult of amendment, should not be so construed as to deprive the States of the power to so amend their laws as to make them conform to the wishes of the citizens as they may deem best for the public welfare without bringing them into conflict with the supreme law of the land.
Of course, it is impossible to forecast the character or extent of these changes, but in view of the fact that from the day Magna Charta was signed to the present moment, amendments to the structure of the law have been made with increasing frequency, it is impossible to suppose that they will not continue, and the law be forced to adapt itself to new conditions of society, and, particularly, to the new relations between employers and employes, as they arise.
Similar views have been heretofore
expressed by this court. Thus in the
case of Missouri v. Lewis, 101 U.S. 22, 31, it was said by Mr. Justice Bradley:
"We might go still further and say, with undoubted truth, that there is
nothing in the Constitution to prevent any State from adopting any system of
laws or judicature it sees fit for all or any part of its territory. If the State of New York, for example, should
see fit to adopt the civil law and its method of procedure for New York City
and the surrounding counties, and the common law and its methods of procedure
for the rest of the [*388] State, there is nothing in the Constitution
of the United States to prevent its doing so.
This would not, of itself, within the meaning of the Fourteenth
Amendment, be a denial to any person of the equal protection of the laws. . .
. The Fourteenth Amendment does not
profess to secure to all persons in the
The same subject was also
elaborately dis assed by Mr. Justice Matthews in
delivering the opinion of this court in Hurtado v.
California, 110 U.S. 516, 530: "This flexibility and capacity for growth
and adaptation is the peculiar boast and excellence of the common [***790]
law. . . . The Constitution of
the United States was ordained, it is true, by descendants of Englishmen, who
inherited the traditions of English law and history; but it was made for an
undefined and expanding future, and for a people gathered and to be gathered
from many nations and of many tongues.
And while we take just pride in the principles and institutions of
common law, we are not to forget that in lands where other systems of
jurisprudence prevail, the ideas and processes of civil justice are also not
unknown. Due process of law, in spite of
the absolutism of continental governments, is not alien to that code which survived
the Roman Empire as the foundation of modern civilization in
We do not wish, however, to be
understood as holding that this power is unlimited. While the people of each State may doubtless
adopt such systems of laws as best conform to their own traditions and customs,
the people of the entire country have laid down in the Constitution of the
United States certain fundamental principles to which each member of the Union
is bound to accede as a condition of its admission as a State. Thus, the United States are bound to
guarantee to each State a republican form of government, and the tenth section
of the first article contains certain other specified limitations upon the
power of the several States, the object of which was to secure to Congress
paramount authority with respect to matters of universal concern. In addition, the Fourteenth Amendment
contains a sweeping provision forbidding the States from abridging the privileges
and immunities of citizens of the
This court has never attempted to
define with precision the words "due process of law," nor is it
necessary to do so in this case. It is
sufficient to say that there are certain immutable principles of justice which
inhere in the very idea of free government which no member of the Union may
disregard, [*390] as that no man shall be condemned in his
person or property without due notice and an opportunity of being heard in his defence. What shall
constitute due process of law was perhaps as well stated by Mr. Justice Curtis
It was said by Mr. Justice Miller, in delivering the opinion of this court in Davidson v. New Orleans, 96 U.S. 97, that the words "law of the land," as used in Magna Charta, implied a conformity with the "ancient and customary laws of the English people," and that it was wiser to ascertain their intent and application by the "gradual process of judicial inclusion and exclusion as the cases presented for decision shall require, with the reasoning on which such decisions may be founded." Recognizing the difficulty in defining, with exactness, the phrase "due process of law," it is certain that these words imply a conformity with natural and inherent principles of justice, and forbid that one man's property, or right to property, shall be taken for the benefit of another, or for the benefit of the State, without compensation; and that [*391] no one shall be condemned in his person or property without an opportunity of being heard in his own defence.
As the possession of property, of which a person cannot be deprived, doubtless implies that such property may be acquired, it is safe to say that a state law which undertakes to deprive any class of persons of the general power to acquire property would also be obnoxious to the same provision. Indeed, we may go a step further, and say that, as property can only be legally acquired as between living persons by contract, a general prohibition against entering into contracts with respect to property, or having as their object the acquisition of property, would be equally invalid.
The latest utterance of this court upon this subject is contained in the case of Allgeyer v. [***791] Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578, 591, in which it was held that an act of Louisiana which prohibited individuals within the State from making contracts of insurance with corporations doing business in New York, was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. In delivering the opinion of the court, Mr. Justice Peckham remarked: "In the privilege of pursuing an ordinary calling or trade, and of acquiring, holding and selling property, [**388] must be embraced the right to make all proper contracts in relation thereto, and, although it may be conceded that this right to contract in relation to persons or property, or to do business within the jurisdiction of the State, may be regulated and sometimes prohibited, when the contracts or business conflict with the policy of the State as contained in its statutes, yet the power does not and cannot extend to prohibiting a citizen from making contracts of the nature involved in this case outside of the limits and jurisdiction of the State, and which are also to be performed outside of such jurisdiction."
This right of contract, however,
is itself subject to certain limitations which the State may lawfully impose in
the exercise of its police powers. While
this power is inherent in all governments, it has doubtless been greatly
expanded in its application during the past century, owing to an enormous
increase in the number of occupations which are dangerous, or so far
detrimental to the health of employes as to
demand [*392] special precautions for their well-being and
protection, or the safety of adjacent property.
While this court has held, notably in the cases
Davidson v. New Orleans, 96 U.S. 97, and Yick Wo v. IIopkins, 118 U.S. 356,
that the police power cannot be put forward as an excuse for oppressive and
unjust legislation, it may be lawfully resorted to for the purpose of
preserving the public health, safety or morals, or the abatement of public
nuisances, and a large discretion "is necessarily vested in the
legislature to determine not only what the interests of the public require, but
what measures are necessary for the protection of such interests."
The extent and limitations upon
this power are admirably stated by Chief Justice Shaw in the following extract
from his opinion in Commonwealth v. Alger, 7
"We think it a settled principle-, growing out of the nature of well ordered civil society, that every holder of property, however absolute and unqualified may be his title, holds it under the implied liability that its use may be so regulated, that it shall not be injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having an equal right to the enjoyment of their property, nor injurious to the rights of the community. All property in this Commonwealth, as well that in the interior as that bordering on tide waters, is derived directly or indirectly from the Government, and held subject to those general regulations, which are necessary to the common good and general welfare. Rights of property, like all other social and conventional rights, are subject to such reasonable limitations in their enjoyment, as shall prevent them from being injurious, and to such reasonable restraints and regulations established by law as the legislature, under the governing and controlling power vested in them by the Constitution, may think necessary and expedient."
This power legitimately exercised can neither be limited by contract nor bartered away by legislation.
While this power is necessarily inherent in every form of government, it was, prior to the adoption of the Constitution, but sparingly used in this country. As we were then almost [*393] purely an agricultural people, the occasion for any special protection of a particular class did not exist. Certain profitable employments, such as lotteries and the sale of intoxicating liquors, which were then considered to be legitimate, have since fallen under the ban of public opinion, and are now either altogether prohibited, or made subject to stringent police regulations. The power to do this has been repeatedly affirmed by this court. Stone v. Mississippi, 101 U.S. 814; Douglas v. Kentucky, 168 U.S. 488; Giozza v. Tiernan, 148 U.S. 657; Kidd v. Pearson, 128 U.S. 1; Crowley v. Christensen, 137 U.S. 86.
While the business of mining coal
and manufacturing iron began in Pennsylvania as early as 1716, and in Virginia,
North Carolina and Massachusetts even earlier than this, both mining and
manufacturing were carried on in such a limited way any by such primitive
methods that no special laws were considered necessary, prior to the adoption
of the Constitution, for the protection of the operatives; but, in the vast
proportions which these industries have since assumed, it has been found that
they can no longer be carried on with due regard to the safety and health of
those engaged in them, without special protection against the dangers
necessarily incident to these employments.
In consequence of this, laws have been enacted in most of the States
designed to meet these exigencies and to secure the safety of persons
peculiarly exposed to these dangers.
Within this general category are ordinances providing for fire escapes
for hotels, theatres, factories and other large buildings, a municipal
inspection of boilers, and appliances designed to secure passengers upon
railways and steamboats against the dangers necessarily incident to these
methods of transportation. In States
where manufacturing is carried on to a large extent, provision is made for the
protection of dangerous machinery against accidental contact, for the
cleanliness and ventilation of working rooms, for the guarding of well holes,
stairways, elevator shafts and for the employment of sanitary appliances. In others, where mining is the principal
industry, special provision is made for the shoring up of dangerous walls, for
ventilation shafts, bore holes, escapement shafts, means of signalling
the surface, for [*394] the supply of fresh air and the elimination,
as far as possible, of dangerous gases, for safe means of hoisting and lowering
cages, for a limitation upon the number of persons permitted to enter a cage,
that cages shall be covered, and that there shall be fences and gates around
the top of [**389] shafts, besides other similar
precautions. Digest of Stats. of
Arkansas, 1149; California, State March 16, 1872, c. 305; March 27, 1874, c.
498; March 14, 1881, c. 72; March 8, 1893,
c. 74; Colorado, [***792] Mills' Anno. Stats. v. 3 Sup. c.
85; Gen. Stats. of
These statutes have been repeatedly enforced by the courts of the several States; their validity assumed, and, so far as we are informed, they have been uniformly held to be constitutional.
In Daniels v. Hilgard,
77 Illinois, 640, it was held that the legislature had power under the
Constitution to establish reasonable police regulations for the operating of
mines and collieries, and that an act providing for the health and safety of
persons employed in coal mines, which required the owner or agent of every coal
mine or colliery employing ten men or more, to make or cause to be made an accurate
map or plan of the workings of such coal mine or colliery, was not
unconstitutional; and that the question whether certain requirements are a part
of a system of police regulations adopted to aid in the protection of life and
health, was properly one of legislative determination, and that a court should
not lightly interfere with such determination unless the legislature had
manifestly transcended its province. See
also Litchfield Coal Co. v.
v. Bonnell et al., 8 Phila. 534, a law,
[*395] providing for the
ventilation of coal mines, for speaking tubes and the protection of cages, was
held to be constitutional and subject to strict enforcement. Commonwealth v. Conyngham,
But if it be within the power of a legislature to adopt such means for the protection of the lives of its citizens, it is difficult to see why precautions may not also be adopted for the protection of their health and morals. It is as much for the interest of the State that the public health should be preserved as that life should be made secure. With this end in view quarantine laws have been enacted in most if not all of the States; insane asylums, public hospitals and institutions for the care and education of the blind established, and special measures taken for the exclusion of infected cattle, rags and decayed fruit. In other States laws have been enacted limiting the hours during which women and children shall be employed in factories; and while their constitutionality, at least as applied to women, has been doubted in some of the States, they have been generally upheld. Thus, in the case of Commonwealth v. Hamilton Manufacturing Co., 120 Mass. 383, it was held that a statute prohibiting the employment of all persons under the age of eighteen, and of all women laboring in any manufacturing establishment more than sixty hours per week, violates no contract of the Commonwealth implied in the granting of a charter to a manufacturing company nor any right reserved under the Constitution to any individual citizen, and may be maintained as a health or police regulation.
Upon the principles above stated, we think the act in question may be sustained as a valid exercise of the police power of the State. The enactment does not profess to limit the hours of all workmen, but merely those who are employed in underground mines, or in the smelting, reduction or refining of ores or metals. These employments, when too long pursued, the legislature has judged to be detrimental to the health of the employes, and, so long as there are reasonable grounds for believing that this is so, its decision upon this subject cannot be reviewed by the Federal courts.
[*396] While the general experience of mankind may justify us in believing that men may engage in ordinary employments more than eight hours per day without injury to their health, it does not follow that labor for the same length of time is innocuous when carried on beneath the surface of the earth, where the operative is deprived of fresh air and sunlight, and is frequently subjected to foul atmospheres and a very high temperature, or to the influence of noxious gases, generated by the processes of refining or smelting.
We concur in the following observations of the Supreme Court of Utah in this connection in its opinion in No. 2:
"The conditions with respect to health of laborers in underground mines doubtless differ from those in which they labor in smelters and other reduction works on the surface. Unquestionably the atmosphere and other conditions in mines and reduction works differ. Poisonous gases, dust and impalpable substances arise and float in the air in stamp mills, smelters and other works in which ores containing metals, combined with arsenic or other poisonous elements or agencies, are treated, reduced and refined, and there can be no doubt that prolonged effort day after day, subject to such conditions and agencies, will produce morbid, noxious and often deadly effects in the human system. Some organisms and systems will resist and endure such conditions and effects longer than others. It may be said that labor in such conditions must be performed. Granting that, the period of labor each day should be of a reasonable length. Twelve hours per day would be less injurious than fourteen, ten than twelve and eight than ten. The legislature has named eight. Such a period was deemed reasonable. . . . The law in question is confined to the protection of that class of people engaged in labor in underground mines, and in smelters and other works wherein ores are reduced and refined. This law applies only to the classes subjected by their employment to the peculiar conditions and effects attending underground mining and work in smelters, and other works for the reduction and refining of ores. Therefore it is not necessary to discuss or decide whether the legislature can [**390] fix the hours of labor [*397] in other employments. Though reasonable doubts may exist as to the power of the legislature to pass a law, or as to whether the law is calculated or adapted to promote the health, safety or comport of the people, or to secure good order or promote the general welfare, we must resolve them in [***793] favor of the right of that department of government."
The legislature has also recognized the fact, which the experience of legislators in many States has corroborated, that the proprietors of these establishments and their operatives do not stand upon an equality, and that their interests are, to a certain extent, conflicting. The former naturally desire to obtain as much labor as possible from their employes, while the latter are often induced by the fear of discharge to conform to regulations which their judgment, fairly exercised, would pronounce to be detrimental to their health or strength. In other words, the proprietors lay down the rules and the laborers are practically constrained to obey them. In such cases self-interest is often an unsafe guide, and the legislature may properly interpose its authority.
It may not be improper to suggest in this Connection that although the prosecution in this case was against the employer of labor, who apparently under the statute is the only one liable, his defence is not so much that his right to contract has been infringed upon, but that the act works a peculiar hardship to his employes, whose right to labor as long as they please is alleged to be thereby violated. The argument would certainly come with better grace and greater cogency from the latter class. But the fact that both parties are of full age and competent to contract does not necessarily deprive the State of the power to interfere where the parties do not stand upon an equality, or where the public health demands that one party to the contract shall be protected against himself. "The State still retains an interest in his welfare, however reckless he may be. The whole is no greater than the sum of all the parts, and when the individual health, safety and welfare are sacrificed or neglected, the State must suffer."
We have no disposition to criticize the many authorities [*398] which hold that state statutes restricting the hours of labor are unconstitutional. Indeed, we are not called upon to express an opinion upon this subject. It is sufficient to say of them, that they have no application to cases where the legislature had adjudged that a limitation is necessary for the preservation of the health of employes, and there are reasonable grounds for believing that such determination is supported by the facts. The question in each case is whether the legislature has adopted the statute in exercise of a reasonable discretion, or whether its action be a mere excuse for an unjust discrimination, or the oppression, or spoliation of a particular class. The distinction between these two different classes of enactments cannot be better stated than by a comparison of the views of this court found in the opinions in Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27, and Soon Hing v. Crowley, 113 U.S. 703, with those later expressed in Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356.
We are of opinion that the act in question was a valid exercise of the police power of the State, and the judgments of the Supreme Court of Utah are, therefore,
MR. JUSTICE BREWER and MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM dissented.