128 U.S. 96 (1888), Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. Co. v. State of Alabama

Citation:128 U.S. 96, 9 S.Ct. 28, 32 L.Ed. 352
Party Name:NASHVILLE, C. & ST. L. RY. CO. v. STATE OF ALABAMA. [1]
Case Date:October 22, 1888
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 96

128 U.S. 96 (1888)

9 S.Ct. 28, 32 L.Ed. 352

NASHVILLE, C. & ST. L. RY. CO.

v.

STATE OF ALABAMA. 1

United States Supreme Court.

October 22, 1888

COUNSEL

[9 S.Ct. 28] Oscar R. Handley, for plaintiff in error.

Page 97

T. N. McClelland, Atty. Gen., for defendant in error.

OPINION

FIELD, J.

A statute of Alabama which took effect on the 1st of June, 1887, 'for the protection of the traveling public against accidents caused by color-blindness and defective vision,' declares that all persons afflicted with color-blindness and loss of visual power, to the extent therein defined, are 'disqualified from serving on railroad lines within the state in the capacity of locomotive engineer, fireman, train conductor, brakeman, station agent, switchman, flag-man, gate-tender, or signal-man, or in any other position which requires the use or discrimination of form or color signals;' and makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by fine of not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars for each offense, for a person to serve in any of the capacities mentioned without having obtained a certificate of fitness for his position in accordance with the provisions of the act. It provides for the appointment by the governor of a suitable number of qualified medical men throughout the state to carry the law into effect, and for the examination by them of persons to be employed in any of the capacities mentioned; prescribes rules to govern the action of the examiners; and allows them a fee of three dollars for the examination of each person. It declares that re-examinations shall be made once in every five years, and whenever sickness, or fever, or accidents calculated to affect the visual organs have occurred to the parties, or a majority of the board may direct; that the examinations and re-examinations shall be made at the expense of the railroad companies; and that it shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars for each offense, for any such company to employ a person, in any of the capacities mentioned, who does not possess a certificate of fitness therefor from the examiners in so far as color-blindness and the visual organs are concerned. The defendant, the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway Company, is a corporation created under the laws of

Page 98

Tennessee, and runs its trains from Nashville, in that state, to various points in other states; 24 miles of its line being in Alabama, 2 miles in Georgia, 7 in Kentucky, and 464 in Tennessee. On the 2d of August, 1887, one James Moore, was employed by the company as a train conductor on it road, and acted in that capacity, in the county of Jackson, in Alabama, without having obtained a certificate of his fitness so far as color-blindness and visual powers were concerned, in accordance with the law of that state. For this employment the company was indicted in the circuit court of the state for Jackson county, under the statute mentioned, and on its plea of not guilty was convicted, and fined $50. On appeal to the supreme court of the state the judgment was affirmed, and to review it the case is brought in error to this court.

It was contended in the court below, among other things, that the statute of Alabama was repugnant to the power vested in congress to regulate commercce among the states, and that it violated the clause of the fifth amendment which declares that no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law. The same positions are urged in this court, with the further position that the statute is in conflict with the clause in the third article of the constitution which provides that the trials of all crimes shall be held in the state where they were committed. The first question thus presented is covered by the decision of this court rendered at the last term in Smith v. Alabama, 124 U.S. 465, 8 S.Ct. 564. In that case the law adjudged to be valid...

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155 practice notes
  • 177 N.Y. 145, People v. Lochner
    • United States
    • New York New York Court of Appeals
    • 12 Enero 1904
    ...26); requiring locomotive engineers to be licensed, and providing that the railroad company employing them pay the fees of examination (128 U.S. 96); requiring cars to be heated otherwise than by stoves on railroads over 50 miles in length (165 U.S. 628); providing for immediate payment of ......
  • 108 A. 887 (R.I. 1920), 493, O'Neil v. Providence Amusement Co.
    • United States
    • Rhode Island Supreme Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Enero 1920
    ...of fireman appointed to duty at a theater from the regular force of the city. In Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Ry. v. Alabama, 128 U.S. 96, 9 S.Ct. 28, 32 L.Ed. 352, the court held that a state statute which requires locomotive engineers and other persons, employed by a railroad co......
  • 281 S.W. 1084 (Tex.Civ.App. 1926), 6930. ), International-Great Northern R. Co. v. Railroad Commission of Texas
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals of Texas Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
    • 24 Febrero 1926
    ...Co. v. Arkansas, 31 S.Ct. 275, 219 U.S. 453, 55 L.Ed. 290; Smith v. Alabama, 8 S.Ct. 564, 124 U.S. 465, 31 L.Ed. 508; Railway v. Alabama, 9 S.Ct. 28, 128 U.S. 96, 32 L.Ed. 352; N. Y., N.H. & H. R. Co. v. New York, 17 S.Ct. 418, 165 U.S. 628, 41 L.Ed. 853; Mobile Co. v. Kimball, 102 U.S.......
  • 78 F. 693 (6th Cir. 1897), 375, Peirce v. Van Dusen
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • 2 Febrero 1897
    ...and licensed by a state board before acting as engineers within that state; and as in Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. Co. v. Alabama, 128 U.S. 96, 100, 9 Sup.Ct. 28, in which the court held to be constitutional a state enactment requiring all locomotive engineers to be examined by a state bo......
  • Free signup to view additional results
155 cases
  • 177 N.Y. 145, People v. Lochner
    • United States
    • New York New York Court of Appeals
    • 12 Enero 1904
    ...26); requiring locomotive engineers to be licensed, and providing that the railroad company employing them pay the fees of examination (128 U.S. 96); requiring cars to be heated otherwise than by stoves on railroads over 50 miles in length (165 U.S. 628); providing for immediate payment of ......
  • 108 A. 887 (R.I. 1920), 493, O'Neil v. Providence Amusement Co.
    • United States
    • Rhode Island Supreme Court of Rhode Island
    • 29 Enero 1920
    ...of fireman appointed to duty at a theater from the regular force of the city. In Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Ry. v. Alabama, 128 U.S. 96, 9 S.Ct. 28, 32 L.Ed. 352, the court held that a state statute which requires locomotive engineers and other persons, employed by a railroad co......
  • 281 S.W. 1084 (Tex.Civ.App. 1926), 6930. ), International-Great Northern R. Co. v. Railroad Commission of Texas
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals of Texas Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
    • 24 Febrero 1926
    ...Co. v. Arkansas, 31 S.Ct. 275, 219 U.S. 453, 55 L.Ed. 290; Smith v. Alabama, 8 S.Ct. 564, 124 U.S. 465, 31 L.Ed. 508; Railway v. Alabama, 9 S.Ct. 28, 128 U.S. 96, 32 L.Ed. 352; N. Y., N.H. & H. R. Co. v. New York, 17 S.Ct. 418, 165 U.S. 628, 41 L.Ed. 853; Mobile Co. v. Kimball, 102 U.S.......
  • 78 F. 693 (6th Cir. 1897), 375, Peirce v. Van Dusen
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • 2 Febrero 1897
    ...and licensed by a state board before acting as engineers within that state; and as in Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. Co. v. Alabama, 128 U.S. 96, 100, 9 Sup.Ct. 28, in which the court held to be constitutional a state enactment requiring all locomotive engineers to be examined by a state bo......
  • Free signup to view additional results