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the statute a requires the trains upon all their railroads, to come to a stand before passing a drawbridge, and not permit a train to pass a switch, unless there be a switchman standing at the junction with a white flag, &c. And in the state of Massachusetts, the same provision is made, (among other regulations,) before crossing another railroad. b All this, is by virtue of the police power of the state.

The legislature may, no doubt, prohibit railroads from carrying freight, if they deemed it prejudicial to the public interests; and probably, might make them insurers of the lives of their passengers. The statutes giving relatives a right to recover damages when any person is killed, is one step in that direction, and has wrought an important change in the law in that regard.

So too, it is believed, that under this police power, the legislature might with perfect justice, if sound policy was thought to require it, make towns and counties severally responsible for damages, afterward arising, from robbery, or other crimes committed whereby its citizens, or others, should be subjected to loss of property. Indeed, statutes have been passed to this end, in this state, for the payment by counties, and cities, for real or personal property destroyed or injured in consequence of any mob or riot occurring in such county or city. c This is taking private property neither by right of eminent domain, or the taxing power.

In Massachusetts, towns are made liable to damages for loss of life or property by reason of their highways being out of repair. d And other states have enacted like statutes under the same police power. In Connecticut, e New Hampshire, ƒ and Rhode Island, g similar enactments have been made by the legislature, and it is believed in other states, like statutes exist.

The statutes regulating division fences between the proprietors of adjoining lands, and requiring them to be of a given height and quality;-restraining wild, or vicious domestic animals dangerous to persons or property, and to compensate the persons and owners of

a General Statutes, 201, §§ 540, 541.

b General Statutes, 362, § 93.

c Laws of N. Y. of 1855, Ch. 428; Stone v. Mayor, &c., 25 Wend 181.

d General Statutes 247, §§ 21, 22.

e General Statutes 493, § 6.

f Compiled Statutes 149, § 1.

g Rev. St. 125, § 14

property for injuries;-to destroy noxious weeds ;-requiring railroads to ring a bell or blow a whistle in approaching and crossing highways and streets; and creating liability to penalties for neglect of such requirements. All these, and numerous other enactments of the legislature coming fairly under the police power, are wise, and reasonable, and legal provisions, to protect the public against danger to their persons, or to loss of property; indeed the instances and illustrations are too numerous to attempt a recital. Those given, will suffice to establish the power and character of them.

The limit to the exercise of the police power, can only be this: the regulation must have reference to the comfort-the safety-or the welfare of society; it must not be in conflict with the provisions of the constitution. And in case of corporations, it must not, under mere pretense of regulation, take from them, any of the essential rights their charter confers. a This is not intended as a denial of the power of the legislature to alter, modify or repeal a charter in certain cases.

One of the most important of these illustrations of the police power under state constitutions, is that of regulations affecting commerce. Among these, quarantine regulations, and health laws of every description, will readily suggest themselves, and these are, or may be sometimes, carried to the extent of ordering the destruction of private property when infected with disease, or otherwise dangerous. b These regulations have not been questioned as to their authority. The right to pass inspection laws, and to levy duties, so far as may be necessary to render them effectual, is an express power by the constitution of the United States. c

The principle involved under this point, is well and quite fully expressed by the supreme court of this state, d in giving construction to a statute, conferring authority upon harbor masters, to regulate and station all ships and vessels lying in the East and North rivers, within the limits of the city of New York. It was said, "this statute was passed for the preservation of good order in the harbor. It appears to be a necessary police regulation, and a Cooley on Const. Lim. 577.

b Cooley on Const. Lim. 584.

d Venderbitt v. Adams 7 Cow. R. 348 to 353.

c Art. 1, section 10.

not void, although it may interfere, in some measure, with individual rights. The harbor master had jurisdiction under the act over all private wharves. They were subject to all police regulations. The power exercised in this case is essentially necessary for the purpose of protecting all concerned. It is not, in the legitimate sense of the term,—a violation of any right; but the exercise of a power indispensably necessary, where an extensive commerce is carried on." "Police regulations are legal and binding, because for the general benefit; and do not proceed to the length of impairing any right in the proper sense of that term." "The sovereign power in a community, therefore, may, and ought to prescribe the manner of exercising individual rights over property. It is for the better protection and enjoyment of that absolute dominion which the individual claims. The power rests on the implied right and duty of the supreme power to protect all by statutory regulations, so that on the whole, the benefit of all is promoted. Every regulation in a city may and does, in some sense, limit and restrict the absolute right that existed previously. But this is not considered as an injury. So far from it, the individual, as well as others, is supposed to be benefited. It may then be said, that such a power is incident to every well regulated society; and without which it could not well exist."

A case is then supposed, where the legislature should authorize the grant of a road through the wild lands of A. without his consent; a right that has been assumed and acted upon ever since we became an independent government. No compensation is allowed in such cases to the owner. Can he defeat the operation of such a law, by saying his private right is invaded? Such a law, (it is then said,) is constitutional and obligatory; because in many cases, necessary for the public benefit, and not deemed injurious to the individual whose land is taken. a

"The line of distinction between that which constitutes an interference with commerce, and that which is a police regulation, is sometimes, exceedingly dim and shadowy, and it is not to be wondered at, that learned jurists differ when endeavoring to classify the cases which arise." b

a See also case of the owners of the Brig Gray v. Owners of Ship John Fraser, 20 How. U. S. B. 187, 8. b Cooley on Lim. 586.

Congress, under the federal constitution, has the undoubted power to regulate commerce, and whenever it is pleased to exert its power upon the subjects so conferred, it is probable the state power is excluded and even where this power is not exercised by the general government, the state power is not always unlimited. This power was attempted by the state of Maryland, requiring all importers of foreign goods to take out a license, for which they should pay $50 to the state, and in case of neglect or refusal, to subject the importer to certain penalties and forfeitures. This question was brought into the federal court. a The act of the state legislature was held to be repugnant to that provision in the constitution of the United States, which empowers congress to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, &c. That the authority given by congress to import, included the power to sell the thing imported. The Maryland act denied to the importer the right of using the privilege he had purchased of the United States, until he should have made another purchase of it from the state of Maryland. This was not such a police power as the state could exercise.

So too, in a case, in which the state of New York, attempted by its legislature to exercise this police power by imposing taxes upon alien passengers arriving at the port of New York, b it was held by the judges of the federal court c that this statute was in conflict with the provisions of the constitution of the United States. But in another case, quite difficult to distinguish from this, a statute of this state which required the master of every vessel arriving in the port of New York, from any foreign port, or from a port of any of the other of the states of the Union, to make a report in writing, containing the names, ages, and last legal settlement of every person who shall have been on board the vessel commanded by him during the voyage, &c., to be stated in the report under penalties prescribed in the act, was held to be within the police power of the state, and not in conflict with the provisions of the constitution of the United States. d It was also held, that

a Brown v. State of Maryland, 12 Wheat 419, 445.

b1 Rev. Stat. 445.

e Smith v. Turner, 7 How. U. S. R. 288

d Mayor, &c., v. Miln, 11 Peters 102.

persons are not the subject of commerce, and not being imported goods, they do not fall within the reasoning founded upon the construction of a power given to congress, "to regulate commerce," and the prohibition of the states from imposing a duty on imported goods.

"A state has the same undeniable and unlimited jurisdiction over all persons and things within its territorial limits, as any foreign nation, when that jurisdiction is not surrendered to or restrained by the constitution of the United States. It is not only the right, but the bounden and solemn duty of a state, to advance the safety, happiness, and prosperity of its people, and to provide for its general welfare, by any and every act of legislation which it may deem to be conducive to these ends; where the power over the particular subject or the manner of its exercise, are not surrendered or restrained by the constitution of the United States. All those powers which reiate merely to municipal legislation, or which may more properly be called internal police, are not surrendered or restrained; and consequently, in relation to these, the authority of a state is complete, unqualified, and exclusive."

"It is at all times difficult to define any subject with precision and accuracy. It is emphatically so in relation to a subject so diversified and various (if not conflicting) as this. It may, however, be said, that every law comes within the regulation of police, which concerns the welfare of the whole people of a state, or any individual within it, whether it relates to their rights or their duties; whether it respects them as men, or as citizens of the state in their public or private relations; whether it relates to persons or property, of the whole people of a state, or of any individual within it; and whose operation is within the territorial limits of the state, and upon the persons and things within its jurisdiction." This may be exemplified by the right of every state to punish persons, who commit offences against its criminal laws within its territory.

So then, it must follow, that while a state is acting within the scope of its legitimate power, as to the end to be attained, it may use whatever means, being appropriate to the end, it may think fit, although such means may be the same, or so nearly the same, as scarcely to be distinguished from those adopted by congress

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