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Munn v. Illinois

US Supreme Court Case Project

Mikaela Dombrowski

on 3 May 2013

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Transcript of Munn v. Illinois

Background Plaintiff Defense Results Leading up to the case... Munn MUNN ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT RULED: Supreme Court Makeup Supreme Court Justice Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite Associate Justices Nathan Clifford
Noah Swayne
Samuel F. Miller
David Davis
*Stephan J. Field
*William Strong
Joseph P. Bradley
Ward Hunt Plaintiff Munn Defense Illinois The way to the Supreme Court... Munn and Scott Company guilty of violating the Illinois Law. 1872 Munn appeals it to the Illinois Supreme Court. Goes through some Federal Courts...
Keeps going up until... 1873 1876 March, Resulted in 7-2 vote backing Illinois. 1877 Reaches the U.S. Supreme Court. Argued on January 14, 1876 v. Illinois Mr. Railroad BOOM! Mechanisation entering the workforce! Machines were beginning to take over! Causing HEALTH AND SAFTEY issues. 1877 National Craft Unions replaced
locally oriented groups. In response to the national business concerns --> RAILROADS! LESS THAN 5% NON FARMERS working in America. Continued... Worker's were working 10 or more hours
a day and were working SIX days a week. Case Background State of Illinois begun to regulate rates being charged by railroads and grain elevators. It started to prevent carriers from getting higher profits on routes that faced little competition from water transportation and other railroads. Railroad companies believed they needed those PROFITABLE ROUTES for survival. Munn violated the laws and was found to be charging more than the Regulated Rate. Argument was: Regulating the maximum prices of railroads and grain elevators in order to protect farmers, deprived the railroad companies of property without giving them due process of the law. Due Process: Legal principles derived from the Constitution. The principles seek to protect the rights of citizens. The government must treat individuals fairly, not allowing them to abuse power. Process from the 5th and 14th Amendment 5th: "life, liberty or property without due process.
14th: uses identical text to impose the obligation. Argument was: Crucial to the economy and the usage of the railroads and grain elevators were of public interest. Public Interest:
subject to state regulation on maximum prices That it is constitutional for the a state to regulate the price of grain transportation. People can only make changes to the law by voting not by going through the court. The Supreme Court also held up the Granger Laws. The laws prevent the carriers from making high profits, many railroads believe they need those profitable routes for their survival. Historical Significance... This now allows for state legislatures to pass any laws or legislation that relate to public interest. With NO interference of the court system. Still no right to get involved in the private contracts. He argued on behalf of Munn saying that it is against the right of private property. Problem before the court was to find a legal basis for regulating such property as grain elevators and railroads without setting a precedent for the regulation of all private property. Other cases similar to this one... Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company v. Iowa; Peik v. Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Company; Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad Company v. Ackley; Winona and Saint Paul Railroad Company v. ? ; and Stone v. Wisconsin. Part of the Granger Cases along with Munn v. Illinois Ruled the same as Munn v. Illinois Majority Opinioin Dissenting Opinoin It was constitutional, and that the Fourteenth Amendment was not violated. Field argued that there is a difference in private rights and public power. Based off of the Due Process Clause in 14th Amendment.
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