Fundamental Rights

A. The Right to Work: Below are some very relevant cases regarding the right to work.  It should be noted that before you ever quote or cite a case in legal pleadings, you should actually read it. Often, a case can mention a fundamental legal principal, but then distinguish it.

I. Supreme Court:

Butchers’ Union Slaughterhouse Co. v. Crescent City Live-Stock Landing Co., 111 U.S. 746, 756-57, 4 S.Ct. 652 (1884):

“As in our intercourse with our fellow-men certain principles of morality are assumed to exist, without which society would be impossible, so certain inherent rights lie at the foundation of all action, and upon a recognition of them alone can free institutions be maintained. These inherent rights have never been more happily expressed than in the declaration of independence, that new evangel of liberty to the people: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident’ – that is, so plain that their truth is recognized upon their mere statement – ‘that all men are endowed’ – not by edicts of emperors, or decrees of parliament, or acts of congress, but ‘by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.’ – that is, rights which cannot be bartered away, or given away, or taken away, except in punishment of crime – ‘and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and to secure these’ – not grant them, but secure them –  ‘governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.’ Among these inalienable rights, as proclaimed in that great document, is the right of men to pursue their happiness, by which is meant the right to pursue any lawful business or vocation, in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others, which may increase their prosperity or develop their faculties, so as to give to them their highest enjoyment. The common business and callings of life, the ordinary trades and pursuits, which are innocuous in themselves, and have been followed in all communities from time immemorial, must therefore be free in this country to all alike upon the same conditions. The right to pursue them, without let or hinderance, except that which is applied to all persons of the same age, sex, and condition, is a distinguishing privilege of citizens of the United States, and an essential element of that freedom which they claim as their birthright. It has been well said that ‘the property which every man has in his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable. The patrimony of the poor man lies in the strength and dexterity of his own hands, and to hinder his employing this strength and dexterity in what manner he thinks proper, without injury to his neighbor, is a plain violation of this most sacred property. It is a manifest encroachment upon the just liberty both of the workman and of those who might be disposed to employ him. As it hinders the one from working at what he thinks proper, so it hinders the others from employing whom they think proper.’ Smith, Wealth Nat. bk. 1, c. 10.”

Dent v. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114, 121, 9 S. Ct. 231 (1889):
“It is undoubtedly the right of every citizen of the United States to follow any lawful calling, business, or profession he may choose, subject only to such restrictions as are imposed upon all persons of like age, sex and condition.”

Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578, 589-90, 17 S.Ct. 427 (1897):
“The ‘liberty’ mentioned in that amendment means, not only the right of the citizen to be free from the mere physical restraint of his person, as by incarceration, but the term is deemed to embrace the right of the citizen to be free in the enjoyment of all his faculties; to be free to use them in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; to pursue any livelihood or avocation; and for that purpose to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary, and essential to his carrying out to a successful conclusion the purposes above mentioned.
“It was said by Mr. Justice Bradley, in Butchers’ Union Slaughterhouse Co. v. Crescent City Live-Stock Landing Co., 111 U.S. 746 , at page 762, 4 Sup. Ct. 657, in the course of his concurring opinion in that case, that ‘the right to follow any of the common occupations of life is an inalienable right. It was formulated as such under the phrase ‘pursuit of happiness’ in the Declaration of Independence, which commenced with the fundamental proposition that ‘all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ This right is a large ingredient in the civil liberty of the citizen.’ Again, on page 764, 111 U. S., and on page 658, 4 Sup. Ct., the learned justice said: ‘I hold that the liberty of pursuit-the right to follow any of the ordinary callings of life-is one of the privileges of a citizen of the United States.’ And again, on page 765, 111 U. S., and on page 658, 4 Sup. Ct.: ‘But if it does not abridge the privileges and immunities of a citizen of the United States to prohibit him from pursuing his chosen calling, and giving to others the exclusive right of pursuing it, it certainly does deprive him ( to a certain extent) of his liberty; for it takes from him the freedom of adopting and following the pursuit which he prefers, which, as already intimated, is a material part of the liberty of the citizen.’ It is true that these remarks were made in regard to questions of monopoly, but they well describe the rights which are covered by the word ‘liberty,’ as contained in the fourteenth amendment.”

Adair v. United States, 208 U.S. 161, 172, 28 S.Ct. 277 (1908):
“Such liberty and right embrace the right to make contracts for the purchase of the labor of others, and equally the right to make contracts for the sale of one’s own labor; each right, however, being subject to the fundamental condition that no contract, whatever its subject-matter, can be sustained which the law, upon reasonable grounds, forbids as inconsistent with the public interests, or as hurtful to the public order, or as detrimental to the common good,” Id., at 172. 
“Of course, the liberty of contract relating to labor includes both parties to it. The one has as much right to purchase as the other to sell labor. * * * The right of a person to sell his labor upon such terms as he deems proper is, in its essence, the same as the right of the purchaser of labor to prescribe the conditions upon which he will accept such labor from the person offering to sell it,” Id., at 174.  

Coppage v. Kansas, 236 U.S. 1, 14, 35 S.Ct. 240 (1915):
“The principle is fundamental and vital. Included in the right of personal liberty and the right of private property-partaking of the nature of each –  is the right to make contracts for the acquisition of property. Chief among such contracts is that of personal employment, by which labor and other services are exchanged for money or other forms of property. If this right be struck down or arbitrarily interfered with, there is a substantial impairment of liberty in the long-established constitutional sense. The right is as essential to the laborer as to the capitalist, to the poor as to the rich; for the vast majority of persons have no other honest way to begin to acquire property, save by working for money.”

Truax v. Raich, 239 U.S. 33, 41, 36 S.Ct. 7 (1915):
“It requires no argument to show that the right to work for a living in the common occupations of the community is of the very essence of the personal freedom and opportunity that it was the purpose of the Amendment to secure.”

Adkins v. Children’s Hospital, 261 U.S. 525, 558, 43 S.Ct. 394 (1923):
“In principle, there can be no difference between the case of selling labor and the case of selling goods.”

Meyer v. State of Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399, 43 S.Ct. 625 (1923):
“While this court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty thus guaranteed, the term has received much consideration and some of the included things have been definitely stated. Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262, 278, 52 S. Ct. 371 (1932):
“[N]othing is more clearly settled than that it is beyond the power of a state, `under the guise of protecting the public, arbitrarily [to] interfere with private business or prohibit lawful occupations or impose unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions upon them.'”

Morehead v. N.Y. ex rel Tipaldo, 298 U.S. 587, 601, 56 S.Ct. 918 (1936):
“Nothing is better settled in our constitutional law than that liberty does not mean merely freedom from physical restraint, but includes the right to work for a living by using the powers of brain and muscle in the ordinary activities of mankind.”

Grosjean v. American Press Co., Inc., 297 U.S. 233, 244, 56 S.Ct. 444 (1936):
“That freedom of speech and of the press are rights of the same fundamental character, safeguarded by the due process of law clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against abridgment by state legislation, has likewise been settled by a series of decisions of this Court beginning with Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652, 666, and ending with Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697, 707. The word “liberty” contained in that amendment embraces not only the right of a person to be free from physical restraint, but the right to be free in the enjoyment of all his faculties as well. Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578, 589.”

Greene v. McElroy, 360 U.S. 474, 492, 79 S. Ct. 1400 (1959):
“[R]ight to hold specific private employment and to follow a chosen profession free from unreasonable governmental interference comes within the `liberty’ and `property’ concepts of the Fifth Amendment.”

 
II. Federal Appellate Courts:
 
Wall v. King, 206 F.2d 878, 882 (1st Cir. 1953):
“Therefore it is unimportant whether, for one purpose or another, a license to operate motor vehicles may properly be described as a mere personal privilege rather than a property right. We have no doubt that the freedom to make use of one’s own property, here a motor vehicle, as a means of getting about from place to place, whether in pursuit of business or pleasure, is a ‘liberty’ which under the Fourteenth Amendment cannot be denied or curtailed by a state without due process of law.”
 
Quinn v. Syracuse Model Neighborhood Corp., 613 F.2d 438, 446 (2nd Cir. 1980):
“It is well-settled that an individual’s liberty can be implicated when a governmentally imposed stigma restricts his ability to seek and obtain employment. This ‘broad and majestic’ principle, Roth, supra, 408 U.S. at 571, 92 S.Ct. 2701, embraces interference with ‘the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life.’ Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399, 43 S.Ct. 625, 626, 67 L.Ed. 1042 (1923). And it is also established that such governmental action cannot be undertaken unless the individual is afforded an opportunity to be heard and to ‘clear his name’.”

Goetz v. Windsor Central School District, 698 F.2d 606, 609 (2nd Cir. 1983):
“Liberty as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment denotes the right of the individual to engage in the common occupations of life and to enjoy privileges recognized as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness.”

 
Stidham v. Tex. Comm’n on Private Sec., 418 F.3d 486, 491 (5th Cir. 2005):
“The Supreme Court has said that `the right to work for a living in the common occupations of the community is of the very essence of the personal freedom and opportunity that it was the purpose of the [Fourteenth]Amendment to secure[,]’ and this court has ‘confirmed the principle that one has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in pursuing a chosen occupation.’”
 
Becker v. Illinois Real Estate Admin. and Disciplinary Bd., 884 F.2d 955, 957 (7th Cir. 1989):
“Several professions have been recognized as constituting ‘common occupations.’ These professions include an attorney, Schware v. Board of Bar Examiners, 353 U.S. 232, 238-39, 77 S.Ct. 752, 755-56, 1 L.Ed.2d 796, police officer, physician and nurse, Bigby v. City of Chicago, 766 F.2d 1053, 1057 (7th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1056, 106 S.Ct. 793, 88 L.Ed.2d 771; psychologist, Illinois Psychological Ass’n v. Falk, 818 F.2d 1337, 1344 (7th Cir. 1987); and schoolteacher, Thomas v. Board of Examiners, 866 F.2d 225, 227 (7th Cir. 1988) (per curiam).”
 
Hopkins v. Oxley Stave Co., 83 F. 912 (8th Cir. 1897):
“The right of an individual to carry on his business as he sees fit, and to use such implements or processes of manufacture as he desires to use, provided he follows a lawful avocation, and conducts it in a lawful manner, is entitled to as much consideration as his other personal rights; and the law should afford protection against the efforts of powerful combinations to rob him of that right and coerce his will by intimidating his customers and destroying his patronage.”
 
Beacon Theatres v. Westover, 252 F.2d 864, 871 (9th Cir. 1958):
“This right to protection by way of injunction against interference with property or contracts or other pecuniary rights, has been applied so as to protect a person in his right to earn a livelihood and to continue in employment unmolested by efforts to enforce void state statutes.”
 
III. State courts:
 
An effort has been made to locate cases from as many state jurisdictions as possible. Some states noted below have no cases cited, but this compilation is certainly not exhaustive. You are invited to locate relevant cases in these states and if you find them, please let TA know. Again, please read these quoted cases.
 
Alabama:

Ex Parte Rhodes, 202 Ala. 68, 69, 79 So. 462 (1918): 
“When the people of this state, through their representatives, met in convention to form this state government, they reserved to themselves and their descendants and successors certain rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities, which they did not surrender or cede to the government to be created by the convention. They also exacted guaranties of the government so formed to protect each person in the state, and secure to him the enjoyment and exercise of these rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities, so reserved against encroachment or destruction thereof by other persons, whether majorities or minorities of the whole, or officers of any department of the government itself. Some, but not all, of these rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities, are enumerated in the Bill of Rights, which comprises the first 36 sections of our Constitution.”

State v. Goldstein, 207 Ala. 569, 573, 93 So. 308 (1922):
” ‘A person living under the protection of this government has the right to adopt and follow any lawful industrial pursuit not injurious to the community which he may see fit. And as incident to this is the right to labor or employ labor, make contracts in respect thereto upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the parties,’ etc. * * * ‘The right to buy and sell property, and contract in respect thereto, including contracts for labor * * * is protected by the Constitution. If the Legislature without any public necessity has the power to prohibit or restrict the right of contract between private persons in respect of one lawful trade or business, then it may prevent the prosecution of all trades, and regulate all contracts.”

State v. Woodall, 225 Ala. 178, 180, 142 So. 838 (1932):
“The right to follow lawful employment of any ordinary and harmless calling, and that of entering the professions duly and reasonably regulated under the police power, are of constitutional guaranty that may not be abridged, and are property rights that may not be arbitrarily denied without due process of law, and as to which the equal protection of the law may not be denied or withheld.”

Board of Cosmetological Examiners v. Gibbons, 238 Ala. 612, 615-16, 193 So. 116 (1940):
“The right to follow any of the common and ordinary occupations of life is an inalienable right, one of the rights of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to conserve which government exists.”

Weill v. State, 250 Ala. 328, 335, 34 So.2d 132 (1948):
“And it must be conceded also that ‘the common businesses and callings of life, the ordinary trades and pursuits which are innocent in themselves and which have been followed in all communities from time immemorial must, therefore, be free in the United States to all alike upon the same terms.’ 11 Amer.Jur. sec. 336.’ State v. Polakow’s Realty Experts, supra.”

Alaska:

Sheley v. Alaska Bar Association, 620 P.2d 640, 643 (Alaska 1980): “the practice of law by qualified persons is a ‘fundamental right’.”

Robison v. Francis, 713 P.2d 259, 265 (Alaska 1986): “employment in the construction industry must be considered a fundamental right entitled to the protection of the privileges and immunities clause.”

Arizona:

City of Tucson v. Stewart, 45 Ariz. 36, 55, 40 P.2d 72 (1935):
“As was said in Coffeyville Vitrified Brick & Tile Co. v. Perry, 69 Kan. 297, 76 P. 848, 849, 1 Ann. Cas. 936, 66 L.R.A. 185:
“‘The right to follow any lawful vocation, and to make contracts, is as completely within the protection of the Constitution as the right to hold property free from unwarranted seizure, or the liberty to go when and where one will. One of the ways of obtaining property is by contract. The right, therefore, to contract cannot be infringed by the Legislature without violating the letter and spirit of the Constitution. Every citizen is protected in his right to work where and for whom he will.’”

Arkansas:

Balesh v. Hot Springs, 173 Ark. 661, 663, 293 S.W. 14 (1927):
“The common business and callings of life, the ordinary trades and pursuits, which are innocuous in themselves, and have been followed in all communities from time immemorial, must therefore be free in this country to all alike upon the same conditions. The right to pursue them, without let or hindrance, except that which is applied to all persons of the same age, sex, and condition, is a distinguishing privilege of citizens of the United States, and an essential element of that freedom which they claim as their birthright.”

 
California:
 
Ex Parte Kubach, 85 Cal. 274, 24 P. 737 (1890):
“Mr. Cooley in his work on Constitutional Limitations (5th ed. 745) says: `The general rule undoubtedly is that any person is at liberty to pursue any lawful calling, and to do so in his own way, not encroaching upon the rights of others. This general right cannot be taken away. It is not competent, therefore, to forbid any person, or class of persons, whether citizens or resident aliens, offering their services in lawful business, or to subject others to penalties for employing them.’”

Ex parte Dickey, 144 Cal. 234, 236-37, 77 P. 924, 925 (1904):
“Under the constitution of the United States and of this state the protection guaranteed in the possession of property, and in the pursuit of happiness is extended, as of necessity it must be, to cover the right to acquire property, and the right to acquire property must and does include the employment of proper means to that end. Says Judge Cooley (Constitutional Limitations, 7th ed., p. 889): ‘The general rule undoubtedly is that any person is at liberty to pursue any lawful calling, and to do so in his own way, not encroaching on the rights of others. This general right cannot be done away.’ And this court has said (Ex parte Newman, 9 Cal. 517): ‘The right to protect and possess property is not more clearly protected by the constitution than the right to acquire. The right to acquire must include the right to use the proper means to attain the end. The right itself would be impotent without the power to use its necessary incidents. The legislature, therefore, cannot prohibit the proper use of the means of acquiring property, except the peace and safety of the state require it.’”

Ex parte Drexel, 147 Cal. 763, 764, 82 P. 429 (1905):
“The liberty mentioned is deemed to embrace the right of the citizen to be free in the enjoyment of all his faculties; to be free to use them in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling, and for that purpose to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary, and essential, to his carrying out to a successful conclusion the purpose above mentioned. These are individual rights, formulated as such under the phrase `pursuit of happiness’ in the Declaration of Independence, which begins with the fundamental proposition that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’”

People v. St. John, 108 Cal.App. 779, 784, 288 P. 53 (1930): ordinance against distribution of shopping magazine held void:
“The Constitutions of the United States and of the state of California guarantee certain fundamental rights and, among others, that no persons shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. It is to be conceded that advertising, as urged by appellant, is a lawful and useful occupation, and as such, is a property right secured by the fundamental law.”

Blumenthal v. Board of Medical Examiners, 18 Cal.Rptr. 501, 368 P.2d 101 (1962): dispensing optician and right to work.

Sail’er Inn, Inc. v. Kirby, 5 Cal.3d 1, 17, 485 P.2d 529 (1971):

“The right to work and the concomitant opportunity to achieve economic security and stability are essential to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. As early as 1915, the United States Supreme Court declared that `the right to work for a living in the common occupations of the community is of the very essence of the personal freedom and opportunity that it was the purpose of [the Fourteenth] Amendment to secure.’ [Citation.] The California Legislature accords statutory recognition to the right to work by declaring the opportunity to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination a civil right. [Citation.] Limitations on this right may be sustained only after the most careful scrutiny.”
 
Colorado:

City of La Junta v. Heath, 38 Colo. 372, 88 P. 459 (1907): peddling water licensing ordinance was void.

City and County of Denver v. Nielson, 194 Colo. 407, 410, 572 P.2d 484 (1977): massage ordinance violated right to work and equal protection. “Every citizen has a natural and constitutional right to engage in any lawful business subject to such reasonable regulation as may apply to all persons engaged in the same kind of business.”

 
Connecticut:

O’Brien’s Petition, 79 Conn. 46, 55, 63 A. 777 (1906): “The inalienable right of every American citizen to follow any of the common industrial occupations of life does not extend to the pursuit of professions or vocations of such a nature as to require peculiar skill or supervision for the public welfare.”

 
Delaware:
 
 
Florida:

State ex rel. Fulton v. Ives, 123 Fla. 401, 411, 167 So. 394 (1936): declared act unconstitutional as a denial of equal protection, due process of law, and improper restraint on freedom of contract.
“The right to make contracts of any kind, so long as no fraud or deception is practiced and the contracts are legal in all respects, is an element of civil liberty possessed by all persons who are sui juris.
“It is both a liberty and property right and is within the protection of the guaranties against the taking of liberty or property without due process of law.”
“Included in the right of personal liberty and the right to private property is the right to make contracts for the acquisition of property. Chief among such contracts is that of personal employment by which labor and other services are exchanged for money or other forms of property. If that right be stricken down or arbitrarily interfered with there is a substantial impairment of liberty in the long established constitutional sense,” Id., at 412. 

Lee v. Delmar, 66 So.2d 252, 255 (Fla. 1953): restrictions on real estate salesman void:
“The right to work, earn a living and acquire and possess property from the fruits of one’s labor is an inalienable right. There may be certain trades, professions or occupations so clothed with the public interest that they may be regulated by the Legislature in the public interest. When any business, occupation or profession is so clothed with the public interest, then the Legislature must provide the yardstick for such regulation.”

Florida Accountants Assoc. v. Dandelake, 98 So.2d 323, 327 (Fla. 1957): accountancy law at issue, quoted Ives, supra.

Georgia:

Weatherby v. Pittman, 24 Ga. App. 452, 101 S.E. 131 (1919): The right to follow a profession, which of course includes the right to be compensated for services rendered, is a property right.

Richardson v. Coker, 188 Ga. 170, 175, 3 S.E.2d 636  (1939):
“The right to work and make a living is one of the highest rights possessed by any citizen. It may be abridged to the extent, and only to the extent, that is necessary reasonably to insure the public peace, safety, health, and like words of the police power.”

DeBerry v. LaGrange, 62 Ga. App. 75, 79, 8 S.E.2d 146 (1940):
“The right to earn a living by pursuing an ordinary occupation is protected by the constitution. This right is fundamental, natural, inherent, and is one of the most sacred and valuable rights of a citizen.”

Muse v. Connell, 62 Ga. App. 296, 303, 8 S.E.2d 100 (1940):

“The right to follow one’s profession, business, or occupation, or to labor, is a valuable property right, protected by the constitution and laws of this State, subject only to such restrictions as the government may impose for the welfare and safety of society. Hughes v. State Board of Examiners, 162 Ga. 246, 256 (134 S.E. 42).”

Weiner v. Fulton County, 113 Ga. App. 343, 345, 148 S.E.2d 143 (1966): The right to practice law by persons authorized by law to do so has been found to be a property right.

 
Hawaii:
 
 
Idaho:

Berry v. Summers, 76 Idaho 446, 451, 283 P.2d 1093 (1955):

“The right to follow a recognized and useful occupation is a right protected by the constitutional guaranty of liberty.”

State v. Smith, 81 Idaho 103, 109, 337 P.2d 938 (1959): naturopath’s right to work.
“The right to follow a recognized occupation is a right protected by the constitutional guarantees of liberty.”

Illinois:

Frazier v. Shelton, 320 Ill. 253, 365, 150 N.E. 696 (1926): law regulating accountants held unconstitutional:

“The right to follow any of the common occupations of life is an inalienable right. That right is one of the blessings of liberty, and is accorded as a privilege to the citizens of the United States by the preamble to the Federal constitution, and by the Declaration of Independence, under the language, ‘pursuit of happiness. The right of a citizen to pursue ordinary trades or callings upon equal terms with all other persons similarly situated is a part of his right to liberty and property.”

Doe v. Jones, 327 Ill. 387, 158 N.E. 703 (1927): surveyor law held unconstitutional.

Scully v. Hallihan, 365 Ill. 185, 191, 6 N.E.2d 176, 179 (1936):
“It is one of the fundamentals of our democratic form of government that every citizen has the inalienable right to follow any legitimate trade, occupation or business which he sees fit. His labor is his property, entitled to the full and equal protection of the law under the due process clause of the Federal constitution. It is also embraced within the constitutional provision guaranteeing to everyone liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578, 41 L. ed. 832.) This right to pursue any trade or calling is subordinate to the right of the State to limit such freedom of action by statutory regulation where the public health, safety or welfare of society may require.”

Indiana:

Kirtley v. State, 227 Ind. 175, 84 N.E.2d 712, 714 (1949): holding that a statute regarding the sale of tickets interfered with the liberties and the personal and property rights of a ticket owner; Indiana’s personal liberty clause confers not only freedom from servitude and restraint, but also “the right of everyone to be free in the use of their powers in the pursuit of happiness in such calling as they may choose subject only to the restraints necessary to secure the common welfare.”

Iowa:

Duncan v. City of Des Moines, 222 Iowa 218, 224, 268 N.W. 547 (1936): act regulating barber prices held invalid as violative of the personal liberty of the citizen. Quoted Adkins, supra.

State v. Harrington, 229 Iowa 1092, 1096, 296 N.W. 221, 223 (1941):
“The right to follow any of the common occupations of life, subject only to reasonable regulations under the police power in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare,”

City of Osceola v. Blair, 231 Iowa 770, 772, 2 N.W.2d 83 (1942):
“`It is one of the fundamentals, of our democratic form of government that every citizen has the inalienable right to follow any legitimate trade, occupation, or business which he sees fit. His labor is his property, entitled to the full and equal protection of the law under the due process clause of the Federal Constitution. It is also embraced within the constitutional provision guaranteeing to everyone liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Kansas:

Coffeyville Vitrified Brick & Tile Co. v. Perry, 69 Kan. 297, 299, 76 P. 848, 849 (1904):
“The right to follow any lawful vocation, and to make contracts, is as completely within the protection of the Constitution as the right to hold property free from unwarranted seizure, or the liberty to go when and where one will. One of the ways of obtaining property is by contract. The right, therefore, to contract cannot be infringed by the Legislature without violating the letter and spirit of the Constitution. Every citizen is protected in his right to work where and for whom he will.”

Kentucky:

Underhill v. Murphy, 117 Ky. 640, 78 S.W. 482 (1904): The right to engage in any business or occupation and make contracts in reference thereto is embraced within the protection of the Constitution.

Rawles v. Jenkins, 212 Ky. 287, 291, 279 S.W. 350 (1925):
“Among the inherent and inalienable rights guaranteed to our citizens by our Bill of Rights are (a) ‘the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties,’ and (b) ‘the right of acquiring and protecting property.’ Constitution, section 1, subsections 1 and 5. Not only does the term ‘liberty’ include the right of the citizen to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling, 6 R. C. L. 260, Allgeyer v. State of Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578, 17 S.Ct. 427, 41 L. ed. 832, but the right of acquiring property includes the, right to engage in any business or occupation that is not injurious to the public weal.”

Louisiana:

 
City of Alexandria v. Hall, 171 La. 595, 131 So. 722 (1930): barber shop closure law at issue; held unconstitutional. 
 
State v. Chisesi, 187 La. 675, 685, 175 So. 453 (1937):
“to deprive a person of his right to pursue his chosen calling deprives him of his liberty, and to prevent his continuing in a lawful business or pursuit in which he is already engaged deprives him of his property.”

Board of Barber Examiners of Louisiana v. Parker, 190 La. 214, 182 So. 485, 512 (1938): act regulating barber prices held invalid. Quoted  Allgeyer, Coppage. 

Banjavich v. Louisiana Licensing Board for Marine Divers, 237 La. 467, 111 So.2d 505, 511 (1959):

“[T]o deprive a person of his right to pursue his chosen calling deprives him of his liberty, and to prevent his continuing in a lawful business or pursuit in which he is already engaged deprives him of his property.”
 
West v. Winnsboro, 252 La. 605, 211 So.2d 665 (1967): the right to pursue employment or to conduct a business is a property right which equity will protect. The protection extends to any substantial interference produced by unconstitutional legislation.

Maine:

State v. Latham, 115 Me. 176, 98 A. 578 (1916): law regarding milk producers found unconstitutional.

State of Maine v. Old Tavern Farm, Inc., 133 Me. 468, 471, 180 A. 473 (1935):

“The Constitution of the State of Maine affirmatively secures to all persons an equality of right to pursue any lawful occupation under equal regulation and protection by law.”

Maryland:

Luman v. Hitchens Bros. Co., 90 Md. 14, 44 A. 1051 (1899):

State v. Caspare, 115 Md. 7, 80 A. 606 (1911):

Dasch v. Jackson, 170 Md. 251, 262, 183 A. 534 (1936):
“It is a recognized principle of American constitutional law that every man has the right to labor, to contract, to hold property, and in his own way to pursue happiness. That is liberty. It is implicit in the Declaration of Independence, in the Federal Constitution, and in the constitutions of the several states,” Id., at 262.
“Property, within the meaning of that guarantee, includes the right to engage in those common occupations or callings which involve no threat to the public welfare, to exercise a choice in the selection of an occupation, and to pursue that occupation in his own way so long as he does not interfere with the rights of others,” Id., at 263-64.

 
Massachusetts:

O’Keeffe v. City of Somerville, 190 Mass. 110, 114, 76 N.E. 45 (1906):
“One of the reasons why these methods are allowable is found in the familiar principle that constitutional liberty means ‘the right of one to use his faculties in all lawful ways, to live and work where he will, to earn his livelihood in any lawful calling, and to pursue any lawful trade or avocation’.”

In re Opinion of the Justices to the House of Representatives, 208 Mass. 607, 608, 94 N.E. 848 (1911):

“contracts of sale which always have been held to be within the constitutional right of persons in every State to possess and acquire property, to transact legitimate business and to buy and sell and get gain.”
 
Town of Milton v. Civil Service Commission, 365 Mass. 368, 312 N.E.2d 188, 192 (Mass. 1974):
“[i]t is certainly true that the opportunity to earn a living is a fundamental right in our society.”
Michigan:

People v. Victor, 287 Mich. 506, 512, 283 N.W. 666 (1939): regulation of giving away glasses at gas station held not within police power: “The right to engage in any business not harmful to the public is guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Minnesota:

State ex rel Pavlik v. Johannes, 194 Minn. 10, 19, 259 N.W. 537 (1935):
” ‘The right to labor or earn one’s livelihood in any legitimate field of industry or business is a right of property, and any unlawful or unreasonable interference with or abridgment of such right is an invasion thereof, and a restriction of the liberty of the citizen as guaranteed by the Constitution.’ Yee Gee v. City and County of San Francisco (D. C.) 235 F. 757, 759.”

Brooks v. Int’l Bhd. of Boilermakers, 262 Minn. 253, 263, 114 N.W.2d 647, 654 (1962): an individual’s occupation is property within the meaning of the law and entitled to protection as such.

Mississippi:

Wilby v. State, 93 Miss. 767, 772-73, 47 So. 465, 466-67 (1908):
“[l]iberty, in its broad sense, must consist of the right to follow any of the ordinary callings of life without being trammeled . . . The right to follow any of the common occupations of life is an inalienable right. . . . It was formulated as such under the phrase `pursuit of happiness’ in the [D]eclaration of [I]ndependence . . . This right is a large ingredient in the civil liberty of the citizen.”

Knight v. Johns, 161 Miss. 519, 137 So. 509 (1931): ordinance regulating barber shop hours held unconstitutional.

Shilling v. State, 143 Miss. 709, 720, 109 So. 737 (1926): quoted Butchers’ Union.

Moore v. Grillis, 205 Miss. 865, 39 So.2d 505, 511 (1949):
“Liberty, in its broad sense, must consist in the right to follow any of the ordinary callings of life without being trammeled.”

Missouri:

Kusnetzky v. Security Ins. Co., 313 Mo. 143, 157, 281 S.W. 47 (Mo. 1926): It is not within the power of the Legislature to forbid a man to transact any business otherwise perfectly lawful.

 
Heath v. Motion Picture Machine Operators Union, 365 Mo. 934, 942, 290 S.W.2d 152, 157-58 (Mo. 1956):
“The Fourteenth Amendment has been construed as including within the fundamental rights conferred by it an individual’s right to earn a livelihood at any common occupation. Truax v. Raich, 239 U.S. 33, 41. Labor union members have, under the constitutionally protected freedom of speech, the right to lawfully communicate the facts to the public concerning the conduct of another’s business. So that it is not a conclusive answer to the instant question to say that the fact that the picketing in the instant case (through which members of the public were informed that a union operator was not employed at the Hillcrest) was unlawful solely because it might affect adversely or even destroy one’s constitutional right to earn a living with his own hands. That is because the basic right to work as one chooses may coexist with the right of others to communicate the facts concerning how one is exercising his right to work as he chooses.”
 
Montana:

State v. Gateway Mortuaries, 87 Mont. 225, 236-37, 287 P. 156 (1930):

“Included in the right of personal liberty and the right of private property — partaking of the nature of each — is the right to make contracts for the acquisition of property. Chief among such contracts is that of personal employment, by which labor and other services are exchanged for money or other forms of property. If this right be struck down or arbitrarily interfered with, there is a substantial impairment of liberty in the long-established constitutional sense. The right is as essential to the laborer as to the capitalist, to the poor as to the rich; for the vast majority of persons have no other honest way to begin to acquire property, save by working for money.”

Garden Spot Market v. State Bd. of Equalization, 141 Mont. 382, 378 P.2d 220 (1963): “The Killum Dead Trading Stamp Case.”

Wadsworth v. State, 275 Mont. 287, 299, 911 P.2d 1165 (1996): state employee’s right to work after hours: “the opportunity to pursue employment is, nonetheless, necessary to enjoy the right to pursue life’s basic necessities. * * * As a practical matter, employment serves not only to provide income for the most basic of life’s necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter for the worker and the worker’s family, but for many, if not most, employment also provides their only means to secure other essentials of modern life, including health and medical insurance, retirement, and day care. We conclude that without the right to the opportunity to pursue employment, the right to pursue life’s basic necessities would have little meaning, because it is primarily through work and employment that one exercises and enjoys this latter fundamental constitutional right. Accordingly, we hold that the opportunity to pursue employment, while not specifically enumerated as a fundamental constitutional right under Article II, section 3 of Montana’s constitution is, notwithstanding, necessarily encompassed within it and is itself a fundamental right because it is a right ‘without which other constitutionally guaranteed rights would have little meaning’.”

Nebraska:

Hanson v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 160 Neb. 669, 696, 71 N.W.2d 526 (1955):

“We also think the right to work is one of the most precious liberties that man possesses. Man has as much right to work as he has to live, to be free, to own property, or to join a church of his own choice for without freedom to work the others would soon disappear. It is a fundamental human right which the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment protects from improper infringement by the federal government. To work for a living in the occupations available in a community is the very essence of personal freedom and opportunity that it was one of the purposes of these amendments to make secure. Liberty means more than freedom from servitude. The constitutional guarantees are our assurance that the citizen will be protected in the right to use his powers of mind and body in any lawful calling.”
 
Nevada:
 
Ex parte Boyce, 27 Nev. 299, 329-30, 75 P. 1 (1904): 8 hour work for mining.
“Labor properly directed creates wealth, and all honest toil is noble and commendable. The right to acquire and hold property guarantied by our constitution is one of the most essential for the existence and happiness of man, and for our purposes here we may consider it to be the cornerstone in the temple of our liberties, and that it implies and includes the right to labor. It may also be granted that labor, the poor man’s patrimony, the creator of wealth, and upon which all must depend for sustenance, is the highest species of property, and the right to toil is as sacred and secure as the millions of the wealthy; but individual rights, however great, are subject to certain limitations necessary for the good of others and the community, and inherent in every well-regulated government.”
 
New Hampshire:

State v. Ramseyer, 73 N. H. 31, 35, 58 A. 958 (1904):
“No proposition is now more firmly settled than that it is one of the fundamental rights and privileges of every American citizen to adopt and follow such lawful industrial pursuit, not injurious to the community, as he may see fit.”

 
New Jersey:
 
Cameron v. International, & c., Union No. 384, 118 N.J. Eq. 11, 20, 176 A. 692 (1935):
The “‘inalienable right to earn a living.’ This is a property right guaranteed by the fifth and fourteenth amendments of the federal constitution, and by the state constitution.”

Lane Distributors, Inc. v. Tilton,  7 N.J. 349, 362, 81 A.2d 786 (1951):
“The right of a person to engage in a business of his choice is a property right,”

New Mexico:

 
State v. Spears, 57 N.M. 400, 409-10, 259 P.2d 356 (1953):
“The right of a citizen under our Constitution to follow any legitimate business, occupation, or calling which he may see fit to engage in, and to use such right as a means of livelihood, is fully secured, but it is subject to the paramount right of the State to impose upon the enjoyment of such a right a reasonable regulation which the public welfare may require.”
 
New York:

In re Jacobs, 98 N.Y. 98, 106-07 (1885):
“Liberty, in its broad sense as understood in this country, means the right, not only of freedom from actual servitude, imprisonment or restraint, but the right of one to use his faculties in all lawful ways, to live and work where he will, to earn his livelihood in any lawful calling, and to pursue any lawful trade or avocation. All laws, therefore, which impair or trammel these rights, which limit one in his choice of a trade or profession, or confine him to work or live in a specified locality, or exclude him from his own house, or restrain his otherwise lawful movements (except as such laws may be passed in the exercise by the legislature of the police power, which will be noticed later), are infringements upon his fundamental rights of liberty, which are under constitutional protection.”

People v. Gillson, 109 N.Y. 389, 398-99, 17 N.E. 343 (1888):
“The term ‘liberty’ as used in the Constitution is not dwarfed into mere freedom from physical restraint of the person of the citizen as by incarceration, but is deemed to embrace the right of man to be free in the enjoyment of the faculties with which he has been endowed by his Creator, subject only to such restraints as are necessary for the common welfare. Liberty, in its broad sense, as understood in this country, means the right not only of freedom from servitude, imprisonment or restraint, but the right of one to use his faculties in all lawful ways to live and work where he will, to earn his livelihood in any lawful calling and to pursue any lawful trade or avocation.”

North Carolina:

State v. Ray, 131 N.C. 814, 815, 42 S.E. 960 (1902): defendant was charged with violation of an ordinance requiring the closing of stores at 7:30 p.m., excepting Saturdays. The court said:
“It must be admitted that the enforcement of this ordinance would be to deprive the defendant of his natural right — would be to interfere with the free use and enjoyment of his property, used in such a way as not to interfere with the rights of others.”

McCormick v. Proctor, 217 N.C. 23, 6 S.E.2d 870, 876 (1940):

“The right to conduct a lawful business, or to earn a livelihood, is regarded as fundamental.”

North Dakota:

State v. Cromwell, 72 N.D. 565, 573, 9 N.W.2d 914 (1943):
Thus liberty “includes the right of the citizen to be free to use his faculties in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; to pursue any livelihood or vocation, and for that purpose to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary, and essential to his carrying out these purposes to a successful conclusion. Within the meaning of the term `liberty’ is also included the right to buy and sell, to select freely such tradesmen as the citizen himself may desire to patronize, to manufacture, to acquire property, to live in a community, to have a free and open market, the right of free speech, of self-defense against unlawful violence, and, in general, the opportunity to do those things which are ordinarily done by free men.”

Ohio:

Oklahoma:

State ex rel. Short v. Riedell, 109 Okla. 35, 39, 233 P. 684 (1924): act regulating regulating accountancy void, quoted Allgeyer. 

Oregon:

 
 
Pennsylvania:

Hunter v. Port Authority of Allegheny County,  277 Pa. Super. 4, 11, 419 A.2d 631 (1980):
“The Supreme Court has consistently interpreted article I, section 1, as guaranteeing an individual’s right to engage in any of the common occupations of life.”

Rhode Island:

State v. Dalton, 22 R.I. 77, 86, 46 A. 234 (1900):
“Liberty, in its broad sense, as understood in this country, means the right not only of freedom from servitude, imprisonment, or restraint, but the right of one to use his faculties in all lawful ways, to live and work where he will, to earn his livelihood in any lawful calling, and to pursue any lawful trade or avocation.”

Berberian v. Lussier, 87 R.I. 226, 231, 139 A.2d 869, 872 (1958):
“Liberty, as meant by the clause, is a broad concept including not only freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, the right of the individual to engage in the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, and generally to enjoy privileges long recognized as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by a free people.” In re Advisory Opinion to the House of Representatives Bill 85-H-7748, 519 A.2d 578, 581 (R.I. 1987) (citing Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 572, 92 S.Ct. 2701, 33 L.Ed.2d 548 (1972)); see also Berberian, 87 R.I. at 231, 139 A.2d at 872 (the liberty which is guaranteed to every person by both our state and federal constitutions includes the right to be free from unreasonable interference in the pursuit of a livelihood).

In re Advisory Opinion to the House of Representatives Bill 85-H-7748, 519 A.2d 578, 581 (R.I. 1987):

“Liberty, as meant by the clause, is a broad concept including not only freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, the right of the individual to engage in the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, and generally to enjoy privileges long recognized as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by a free people.”

South Carolina:

 
Miller v. Greenville, 134 S.C. 314, 317-18, 132 S.E. 591 (1926):
“The business of an auctioneer is a lawful and useful one; from time immemorial it has been recognized as such. It is a common right. * * * Selling goods or any property at public auction is legitimate and a common right. Any citizen has a right to sell any property he owns, either by person, agent, or auctioneer.”

South Dakota:

Tennessee:

Moyers v. City of Memphis, 135 Tenn. 263, 186 S.W. 105, 112 (1916):

“The liberty of contract is one of the inalienable rights of a citizen. The right to pursue a lawful calling embraces the right to enter into all contracts proper, necessary, and essential to the carrying out of the purpose of such calling. * * *”

Campbell v. McIntyre, 165 Tenn. 47, 52 S.W.2d 162 (1932): law licensing practice of public accounting held unconstitutional as violative of personal rights.

Wright v. Wiles, 173 Tenn. 334, 117 S.W.2d 736 (1938): act to regulate photographers.

State v. Greeson, 174 Tenn. 178, 124 S.W.2d 253 (1939): barbers.

Nashville Memorial Hospital, Inc. v. Binkley, 534 S.W.2d 318 (Tenn. 1976): doctor.

Texas:

Ex parte Brown, 38 Tex. Crim. 295, 303-04, 42 S.W. 554 (1897):
“What these fundamental rights are it is not easy to enumerate, the courts preferring not to describe and define them in a general classification, but to decide each case as it may arise. The following, however, have been held to be embraced among them: ‘Protection by the government; the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right to acquire and possess property of every kind, and to pursue and obtain happiness and safety, subject to such restraints as the government may justly prescribe for the general good of the whole.’ **** These are inalienable and indefeasible rights, which no man, or set of men, by even the largest majority, can take from the citizen. They are absolute and inherent in the people, and all free governments must recognize and respect them. Therefore it is incumbent upon the courts to give to the constitutional provisions which guaranty them a liberal construction, and to hold inoperative and void all statutes which attempt to destroy or interfere with them. Cool. Const. Lim. (35), 44. It can hardly be questioned that the right to possess property is one of these rights, and that that right embraces the privilege of a citizen to keep in his possession property for another.”

Owens v. State, 53 Tex. Crim. 105, 108-09, 112 S.W. 1075 (1908):
“A person living under the protection of this government has the right to adopt and follow any lawful industrious pursuit not injurious to the community, which he may see fit. And as incident to this, is the right to labor or employ labor, make contracts in respect thereto upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the parties, to enforce all lawful contracts, to sue and give evidence and to inherit, purchase, lease, sell and convey property of every kind. Is not a man’s wages or his time `property’? If so, has he not the right under the Constitution to sell and convey such property? If a law be passed that prohibits the purchase of his `time’ or labor, does it not abridge his right of contract? Does it not deprive him of selling what is his? Does it not follow that a prohibitive tax upon parties who would buy his labor, deprives the laborer of the right to sell `original foundation of other property’? The enjoyment or deprivation of these rights and privileges, constitutes the essential distinction between freedom and slavery, between liberty and oppression.” What possible good could flow from a statute of the kind under consideration, we are at a loss to know. To say that a man working for wages, whatever the amount of the wages may be, can only sell his time for certain purposes and if he does sell for those purposes not authorized by the statute, the party to whom he sells must pay a $5,000 tax to the State, is a ruthless invasion of the right of free contract, an abridgment of personal liberty and the right of property, since the laborer’s muscle is all the property he has, in many instances, and an invasion of the Constitution of this State and of the United States, and we so hold.”

Webb v, Cooks’, Waiters’ & Waitresses’ Union, Tex. Civ. App. 205 S.W. 465, 468 (Tex.Civ.App.-1918):

Ex parte Martin, 127 Tex. Crim. 25, 74 S.W.2d 1017 (1934): The liberty thus guaranteed means, among other things, the right to pursue any lawful business.

Hotel & Rest. Employees’ International Alliance and Bartenders International League of America v. Longley, 160 S.W.2d 124, 127 (Tex.App. 1942):
“In the American way of life there are, as declared in the historical Declaration of Independence, some rights which are “unalienable.” As said in Allgeyer v. State of Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578, 17 S.Ct. 427, 41 L.Ed. 832, quoted by Chief Justice Conner in Webb v, Cooks’, Waiters’ & Waitresses’ Union, Tex. Civ. App. 205 S.W. 465, 468, ‘The right to follow any of thee common occupations of life is an inalienable right. It was formulated as such under the phrase ‘pursuit of happiness’ in the Declaration of Independence. * * * This right is a large ingredient in the civil liberty of the citizen.’ Exactly the same thing is true, we should say, of the right to make a lawful contract. ‘All persons who are sui juris are free to make whatever contracts they please as long as no fraud or deception is practiced and the contracts are legal in all respects. The right to acquire, to hold and to dispose of property includes, in general, the right to make contracts,’ 12 C.J. 949, § 460; 16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, § 210. The right of contract under any circumstances under which it may exist necessarily implies the right to refuse to contract. Any contract which one may make under constitutional protection of his right of contract, he may refuse to make under the same constitutional protection. There is, in our opinion, no lawful power, legislative, executive or judicial in this state; or in this Nation, to authorize picketing of a man’s place of business as part of the means of effecting a boycott designed to coerce the owner into signing a contract he otherwise would not sign.”

Font v. Carr, 867 S.W.2d 873 (Tex.App.-Houston 1993)

Utah:

Saville v. Corless, 46 Utah 495, 151 P. 51 (1915):
“We think it also offends against constitutional rights to enjoy, acquire, and possess property, the most valuable of which is that of alienation — the right to vend and sell.”

Vermont:

Virginia:

Young v. Commonwealth, 101 Va. 853, 862-63, 45 S.E. 327, 328-29 (1903):
“The word ‘liberty’ as used in the Constitution of the United States and the several states, has frequently been construed, and means more than mere freedom from restraint. It means not merely the right to go where one chooses, but to do such acts as he may judge best for his interest, not inconsistent with the equal rights of others; that is, to follow such pursuits as may be best adapted to his faculties, and which will give him the highest enjoyment. The liberty mentioned is deemed to embrace the right of the citizen to be free in the enjoyment of all his faculties; to be free to use them in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling, and for that purpose to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary, and essential to his carrying out to a successful conclusion the purpose above mentioned. These are individual rights, formulated as such under the phrase “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, which begins with the fundamental proposition that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Washington:

State v. Smith, 42 Wn. 237, 84 P. 851  (1906):
“The right to follow any of the common occupations of life is an inalienable right. It was formulated as such under the phrase `pursuit of happiness’ in the Declaration of Independence. It commenced with the fundamental proposition that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. This right is a large ingredient in the civil liberty of the citizen.”

West Virginia:

State v. Goodwill, 33 W. Va. 179, 10 S.E. 285 (1889):

“A person living under the protection of this government has the right to adopt and follow any lawful industrial pursuit not injurious to the community, which he may see fit. And, as incident to this, is the right to labor and employ labor, make contracts in respect thereto, upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the parties.”

Wisconsin:

Wyoming:

State v. City of Sheridan, 25 Wyo. 347, 170 P. 1 (1918): cement layer licensing ordinance was void as violative of inalienable right to work.

State ex rel. Newman v. City of Laramie, 40 Wyo. 74, 82, 275 P. 106 (1929):
“It must be admitted that the enforcement of this ordinance would be to deprive the defendant of his natural right — would be to interfere with the free use and enjoyment of his property, used in such a way as not to interfere with the rights of others.”

 
B. Right to Travel.

Americans have the constitutional right to travel which is protected by the U.S. Constitution; see Crandall v. Nevada, 73 U.S. (6 Wall.) 35, 49 (1868)(“We are all citizens of the United States, and as members of the same community must have the right to pass and repass through every part of it without interruption, as freely as in our own states”); Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116, 125, 78 S.Ct. 1113, 1118 (1958)(“The right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without the due process of law under the Fifth Amendment”); United States v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745, 757, 86 S.Ct. 1170, 1178 (1966)(“The constitutional right to travel from one State to another, and necessarily to use the highways and other instrumentalities of interstate commerce in doing so, occupies a position fundamental to the concept of our Federal Union”); Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 629, 89 S.Ct. 1322, 1329 (1969) (“This Court long ago recognized that the nature of our Federal Union and our constitutional concepts of personal liberty unite to require that all citizens be free to travel throughout the length and breadth of our land uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement”); Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, 339, 92 S.Ct. 995, 1001 (1972)(“…since the right to travel was a constitutionally protected right, ‘any classification which serves to penalize the exercise of that right, unless shown to be necessary to promote a compelling governmental interest, is unconstitutional’”); and Memorial Hospital v. Maricopa County, 415 U.S. 250, 254, 94 S.Ct. 1076, 1080 (1974)(“The right of interstate travel has repeatedly been recognized as a basic constitutional freedom”). See also Schachtman v. Dulles, 225 F.2d 938,941 (D.C.Cir. 1955)(“The right to travel, to go from place to place as the means of transportation permit, is a natural right subject to the rights of others and to reasonable regulation under law”); Worthy v. Herter, 270 F.2d 905, 908 (D.C.Cir. 1959)(“The right to travel is a part of the right to liberty”); Cole v. Housing Authority of City of Newport, 435 F.2d 807, 809 (1st Cir. 1970)(“…the right to travel is a fundamental personal right that can be impinged only if to do so is necessary to promote a compelling governmental interest”); King v. New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority, 442 F.2d 646, 648 (2nd Cir. 1971)(“It would be meaningless to describe the right to travel between states as a fundamental precept of personal liberty and not to acknowledge a correlative constitutional right to travel within a state”); Demiragh v. DeVos, 476 F.2d 403, 405 (2nd Cir. 1973)(“…the right to travel… [is] a ‘fundamental’ one, requiring the showing of a ‘compelling’ state or local interest to warrant its limitation”); United States v. Davis, 482 F.2d 893, 912 (9th Cir. 1973)(“…it is firmly settled that freedom to travel at home and abroad without unreasonable governmental restriction is a fundamental constitutional right of every American citizen… At the minimum, governmental restrictions upon freedom to travel are to be weighed against the necessity advanced to justify them, and a restriction that burdens the right to travel ‘too broadly and indiscriminately’ cannot be sustained”); McLellan v. Miss. Power & Light Co., 545 F.2d 919, 923 n. 8 (5th Cir. 1977)(“The Constitutional right to travel is ‘among the rights and privileges of National citizenship’”); Andre v. Board of Trustees of Village of Maywood, 561 F.2d 48, 52 (7th Cir. 1977)(“The right to travel interstate, although nowhere expressed in the Constitution, has long been recognized as a basic fundamental right”); Wellford v. Battaglia, 343 F.Supp. 143, 147 (D.Del. 1972)(“The right to travel… is a right to intrastate as well as interstate migration”); Costa v. Bluegrass Turf Service, Inc., 406 F.Supp. 1003, 1007 (E.D.Ken. 1975)(“…pure administrative convenience, standing alone, is an insufficient basis for an enactment which … restricts the right to travel”); Coolman v. Robinson, 452 F.Supp. 1324, 1326 (N.D.Ind. 1978)(“The right to travel is a very old and well established constitutional right”); Tetalman v. Holiday Inn, 500 F.Supp. 217, 218 (N.D.Ga. 1980)(the “constitutionally protected right to travel … is basically the right to travel unrestricted by unreasonable government interference or regulation”); Bergman v. United States, 565 F.Supp. 1353, 1397 (W.D. Mich. 1983)(“The right to travel interstate is a basic, fundamental right under the Constitution, its origins premised upon a variety of constitutional provisions”);  Lee v. China Airlines, Ltd., 669 F.Supp. 979, 982 (C.D.Cal. 1987)(“…the right to travel interstate is fundamental”); and  Pottinger v. City of Miami, 810 F.Supp. 1551, 1578-79 (S.D.Fla. 1992).

This right to travel is also a constitutional right under many state constitutions, embodied within various “liberty” provisions; see Joseph v. Randolph, 71 Ala. 499, 504-05 (1882)(“There can be no denial of the general proposition that every citizen of the United States, and every citizen of each State of the Union, as an attribute of personal liberty, has the right, ordinarily, of free transit from, or through the territory of any State. This freedom of egress or ingress is guaranteed to all by the clearest implications of the Federal, as well as of the State constitution”). This constitutional right to travel is widely recognized; see State v. Wylie, 516 P.2d 142, 145-46 (Alaska 1973)(“…the freedom to travel throughout the United States ‘uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement’ is a fundamental personal right under the United States Constitution … [and] ‘any classification which serves to penalize the exercise of that right, unless shown to be necessary to promote a compelling governmental interest, is unconstitutional’”); People v. Horton, 14 CalApp.3d 930, 92 Cal.Rptr. 666, 668 (1971)(“…the right of the citizen to drive on a public street with freedom from police interference … is a fundamental constitutional right”); In re White, 97 Cal.App.3d 141, 158 Cal.Rptr. 562, 566-67 (1979)(“…there is a constitutional right to intrastate travel”); Heninger v. Charnes, 200 Colo. 194, 613 P.2d 884, 887 (1980)(“…the right to travel interstate is without question a fundamental right under the United States Constitution”); Florida Motor Lines, Inc. v. Ward, 102 Fla. 1105, 137 So. 163, 167 (Fla. 1931)(“The right of a citizen to use the highways, including the streets of the city or town, for travel and to transport his goods, is an inherent right which cannot be taken from him, but it is subject to reasonable regulation in the interest of the public good”); Hall v. King, 266 So.2d 33, 34 (Fla. 1972)(the right to travel “may be restricted only for a compelling state interest”); Chicago Motor Coach Co. v. City of Chicago, 337 Ill. 200, 169 N.E. 22, 25 (1929) (“Even the Legislature has no power to deny a citizen the right to travel upon the highway and transport his property in the ordinary course of his business or pleasure, though this right may be regulated in accordance with the public interest and convenience”); People v. Chambers, 32 Ill.App.3d 444, 335 N.E.2d 612, 617 (1975); Sturrup v. Mahan, 290 N.E.2d 64, 68 (Ind.App. 1972)(“…each citizen, adult or minor, has a fundamental right to move freely from State to State and from City to City within the State”);  Swift v. City of Topeka, 43 Kan. 671, 23 P. 1075, 1076 (1890)(“This right of the people to the use of the public streets of a city is so well established and so universally recognized in this country that it has become a part of the alphabet of fundamental rights of the citizen”); Manzanares v. Bell, 214 Kan. 589, 522 P.2d 1291,1301 (1974) (“…freedom to travel throughout this state and this nation is a fundamental right”); Town of Milton v. Civil Service Comm., 365 Mass. 368, 312 N.E.2d 188, 191 n. 2 (1974); State v. Moseng, 254 Minn. 263, 95 N.W.2d 6, 13 (1959)(“…one’s inalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness is curtailed if he may be unreasonably kept off the highways maintained by him as a citizen and taxpayer ;… ‘the freedom to make use of one’s own property, here a motor vehicle, as a means of getting about from place to place, whether in pursuit of business or pleasure, is a ‘liberty’ which under the Fourteenth Amendment cannot be denied or curtailed by a state without due process of law.’ In any event, the right of a citizen to drive a motor vehicle upon the highways is to be safeguarded against the whim or caprice of police or administrative officers”); Davis v. Davis, 297 Minn. 187, 210 N.W.2d 221, 223 ( 1973)(“Freedom to travel throughout the United States has long been recognized as a basic right under the Constitution, and the freedom to travel includes the freedom to enter and abide in any state”);  Teche Lines, Inc. v. Danforth, 195 Miss. 226, 12 So.2d 784, 787 (1943)(“The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business is a common right which he has under his right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety…. The rights aforesaid, being fundamental, are constitutional rights, and while the exercise thereof may be reasonably regulated by legislative act in pursuance of the police power of the State, and although those powers are broad, they do not rise above those privileges which are imbedded in the constitutional structure”); State v. Johnson, 75 Mon. 240, 243 P. 1073, 1078 (1926)(“…while a citizen has the right to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, that right does not extend to the use of the highways, either in whole or in part, as a place of business for private gain. For the latter purpose no person has a vested right in the use of the highways of the state, but is a privilege or license which the Legislature may grant or withhold in its discretion”); Donnelly v. City of Manchester, 111 N.H. 50, 274 A.2d 789, 791 (1971)(“The right of every citizen to live where he chooses and to travel freely not only within the state but across its borders is a fundamental right”); Gow v. Bingham, 107 N.Y.S. 1011, 1014 (1907)(“…the right of personal liberty … includes … absolute freedom to every one to go where and when he pleases”); State v. Dobbins, 277 N.C. 484, 178 S.E.2d 449, 456 (1971)(“…the right to travel upon the public streets of a city is a part of every individual’s liberty”); Fraternal Order of Police, Youngstown Lodge v. Hunter, 36 Ohio Misc. 103, 303 N.E.2d 103, 106 (1973)(“Any classification which serves to penalize the exercise of a constitutional right (freedom of movement across frontiers in either direction and inside frontiers as well) unless shown to be necessary to promote a compelling governmental interest, is unconstitutional”); Cummins v. Jones, 79 Or. 276, 155 P. 171, 172 (1916); Josephine County School District No. 7 v. Oregon School Activities Assoc., 15 Or.App. 185, 515 P.2d 431, 437 (1973)(“…the right to travel intrastate is a right protected from discriminatory regulation to the same extent as is his right to freedom of interstate movement”); Henry v. Cherry & Webb, 30 R.I. 13, 73 A. 97, 107 (1909)(“…the right of personal liberty include[s] .. the right to go where a persons please[s]”); Berberian v. Lussier, 87 R.I. 226, 139 A.2d 869, 872 (1958); Knowlton v. Board of Law Examiners, 513 S.W.2d 788, 790-91 (Tenn. 1974)(“The right to travel freely among the states is a fundamental, constitutionally protected right”); Thompson v. Smith, 155 Va. 367, 154 S.E. 579, 583 ( 1930)(“The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business is a common right which he has under his right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety… It is not a mere privilege…”); Hadfield v. Lundin, 98 Wash. 657, 168 P. 516, 518 (1917)(“They all recognize the fundamental distinction between the ordinary right of a citizen to use the streets in the usual way and the use of the streets as a place of business or main instrumentality of a business for private gain. The former is a common right, the latter an extraordinary use”); Eggert v. City of Seattle, 81 Wash.2d 840, 505 P.2d 801, 804 (1973)(“The right to travel is a right applicable to intrastate as well as interstate commerce… Both travel within and between states is protected”); Ex parte Dickey, 76 W.Va. 576, 85 S.E. 781, 782 (1915)(“The right of a citizen to travel upon the highway and transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, differs radically and obviously from that of the one who makes the highway his place of business and uses it for private gain… The former is the usual and ordinary right of a citizen, a common right, a right common to all, while the latter is special, unusual, and extraordinary. As to the former, the extent of legislative power is that of regulation; but, as to the latter, its power is broader”); and Ervin v. State, 41 Wis.2d 194, 163 N.W.2d 207, 210 (1968)(“The freedom to move about is a basic right of citizens under our form of government”).


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Author: freedomlawschool

President and Founder of Freedom Law School

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