242 U.S. 526 (1917), 126, Thomas Cusack Co. v. City of Chicago

Docket Nº:No. 126
Citation:242 U.S. 526, 37 S.Ct. 190, 61 L.Ed. 472
Party Name:Thomas Cusack Co. v. City of Chicago
Case Date:January 15, 1917
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 526

242 U.S. 526 (1917)

37 S.Ct. 190, 61 L.Ed. 472

Thomas Cusack Co.


City of Chicago

No. 126

United States Supreme Court

January 15, 1917

Argued December 20, 21, 1916




The Fifth Amendment relates to national action only.

A city ordinance which has been upheld by the highest court of the state as valid under the state legislation is to be regarded by this Court as a law of the state, and is to be tested accordingly.

Such an ordinance, when dealing with a subject within the police power, must be upheld unless shown to be clearly unreasonable, arbitrary or discriminatory.

A city, exercising the police power, may prohibit the erection of billboards in residence districts in the interest of the safety, morality, health, and decency of the community.

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Such a prohibition is not to be deemed unduly discriminatory because not including fences and other structures found less likely to become a source of public injury.

An ordinance prohibiting billboards is not invalidated by a provision which removes the prohibition as to any billboard the erection of which is first consented to by the owners of a majority of the frontage on both sides of the street in the block in which it is to be erected. Eubank v. Richmond, 226 U.S. 137, distinguished.

He who is not injured by the operation of a law or ordinance cannot be said to be deprived by it of either constitutional right or of property.

267 Ill. 344 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

CLARKE, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE CLARKE delivered the opinion of the Court.

In this proceeding the plaintiff in error, a corporation engaged in "outdoor advertising," claims that § 707 of Article 23 of an ordinance of the City of Chicago, governing the erection and maintenance of billboards in that city, is unconstitutional.

This section is as follows:

707. Frontage consents required. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect or construct any billboard or signboard in any block on any public street in which one-half of the buildings on both sides of the street are used exclusively for residence purposes without first obtaining the consent in writing of the owners or duly authorized agents of said owners owning a majority of the frontage of the property on both sides of the street in the block in which such billboard or signboard

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is to be erected, constructed, or located. Such written consents shall be filed with the...

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