Slaughter-House Cases

83 U.S. 36 (1873)


The State of Louisiana (D) gave a certain slaughterhouse a monopoly on the slaughterhouse business in New Orleans. The Butchers' Benevolent Association (P) challenged this statute, seeking an injunction. P claimed that they were prevented from practicing their trade unless they worked at the monopolist corporation and paid its fees. They claimed that this abridged their right to own and use property, a right guaranteed by the privileges and immunities clause of the fourteenth amendment. The lower courts upheld the statute. P appealed, based on four issues, that the statute created an involuntary servitude forbidden by the thirteenth amendment, that it abridged the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, that it denied P the equal protection of the laws, and that it deprived P of property without due process of law; all under the 14th amendment.