204 U.S. 359 (1907), 189, Western Turf Association v. Greenberg

Docket NºNo. 189
Citation204 U.S. 359, 27 S.Ct. 384, 51 L.Ed. 520
Party NameWestern Turf Association v. Greenberg
Case DateFebruary 25, 1907
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Page 359

204 U.S. 359 (1907)

27 S.Ct. 384, 51 L.Ed. 520

Western Turf Association

v.

Greenberg

No. 189

United States Supreme Court

February 25, 1907

Submitted January 29, 1907

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT

OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Syllabus

Where defendant corporation in the court below questions the constitutionality of a state statute as an abridgment of its rights and immunities and as depriving it of its property without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the judgment sustains the validity of the statute, this Court has jurisdiction to review the judgment on writ of error under § 709, Rev.Stat.

Page 360

A corporation is not deemed a citizen within the clause of the Constitution of the United States protecting the privileges and immunities of citizen of the United States from being abridged or impaired by the law of a state, and the liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment against deprivation without due process of law is that of natural, not artificial, person.

A state may, in the exercise of it police power, regulate the admission of persons to place of amusement, and, upon terms of equal and exact justice, provide that persons holding tickets thereto shall be admitted if not under the influence of liquor, boisterous, or of lewd character, and such a statute does not deprive the owners of such place of their property without due process of law; so held as to California statute.

148 Cal. 126 affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

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HARLAN, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

The plaintiff in error is a corporation of California, and the lessee, in possession, of a race course kept as a place of public entertainment and amusement, and to which it was accustomed to issue tickets of admission. The defendant in error, Greenberg, purchased one of such tickets, and was admitted to the race course. After being admitted, he was ejected from the premises against his will by police officers, acting, it was alleged in the complaint, by the direction of the defendant. The defendant denied responsibility for the acts of those officers. It was sued by Greenberg in one of the courts of California, and there was a verdict and judgment against the association for the sum of $1,000. The case was taken to the supreme court of the state, and the judgment was affirmed. 148 Cal. 126.

At the trial, a question was raised as to the applicability to this case of a statute of California relating to the admission of persons holding tickets of admission to places of public

Page 362

entertainment and amusement. That statute is as follows:

It shall be unlawful for any corporation, person, or association, or the proprietor, lessee, or the agents of either, of any opera house, theater, melodeon, museum, circus, caravan, race course, fair, or other place of public amusement or entertainment to refuse admittance to any person over the age of twenty-one years who presents a ticket of admission acquired by purchase, and who demands admission to such place, provided that any person under the influence of liquor, or who is guilty...

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