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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, are infringements upon his fundamental rights of liberty, which are under constitutional protection.”
In People vs. Marx, 2 N. E. Rep. 29, the New York Court of Appeals said: “Who will have the temerity to say that these constitutional principles are not violated by an enactment which absolutely prohibits an important branch of industry for the sole reason that it competes with another, and may reduce the price of an article of food for the human race? Measures of this kind are dangerous, even to their promoters. If the argument of the respondents in support of the absolute power of the legislature to prohibit one branch of industry for the purpose of protecting another with which it competes can be sustained, why could not the oleomargarine manufacturers, should they obtain sufficient power to influence or control the legislative councils, prohibit the manufacture or sale of dairy products? Would arguments then be found wanting to demonstrate the invalidity under the constitution of such an act? The principle is the same in both cases. The numbers engaged upon each side of the controversy cannot influence the question here. Equal rights to all are what are intended to be secured by the establishment of constitutional limits to legislative power, and impartial tribunals to enforce them.”
In Butcher's Union Slaughter-House Co. vs. Crescent City Live-Stock Landing Co., 111 U. S. 746, Justice Field said: “Among the inalienable rights, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, ‘is the right of men to pursue any lawful business or avocation, in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others, which may increase their property or develop their faculties, so as to give them their highest enjoyment. The common business and callings of life, the ordinary trades and pursuits, which are innocent 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 terms. The right to pursue them without let or hindrance, except that which is applied to all persons of the same age, sex, and conditions, is a distinguishing privilege of citizens of the United States, and an essential element of that freedom which they claim as their birthright.”
In the same case Justice Bradley used the following language: “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.”
In the Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 116, Justice Bradley said: “This, it is true, was the violation of a political right; but personal rights were deemed equally sacred, and were claimed by the very first Congress of the Colonies, assembled in 1774, as the undoubted inheritance of the people of this country; and the Declaration of Independence, which was the first political act of the American people in their independent sovereign capacity, lays the foundation of our national existence upon this broad 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. Here again we have the great three-fold division of the rights of freemen, asserted as the rights of man. Rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are equivalent to the rights of life, liberty and property. These are the fundamental rights which can only be taken away by due process of law, and which can only be interfered with, or the enjoyment of which can only be modified, by lawful regulations necessary or proper for the mutual good of all; and these rights, I contend, belong to the citizens of every free government.
For the preservation, exercise and enjoyment of these rights the individual citizen, as a necessity, must be left free to adopt such calling, profession or trade as may seem to him most conducive to that end.. Without this right he cannot be a freeman.
This right to choose one's calling is an essential part of that liberty which it is the object of government to protect; and a calling, when chosen, is a man's property and right. Liberty and property are not protected where
these rights are arbitrarily assailed.”
The consensus of all these statements is that the pursuit of any lawful business is a constitutional right, yea, more than that, the pursuit of a lawful business is more than a mere right; it is property that can not be taken from him without due process of law. Hence, when the courts declare that the saloon is not a constitutional right, that is merely another way of saying that the saloon is an unlawful institution; that it is not lawful at common law. It is saying that pursuits that are lawful at common law are constitutional rights, and that those pursuits that are not constitutional rights are unlawful at common law. And it means also that a business that may be arbitrarily and wholly prohibited is both unconstitutional and unlawful at common law, and, as the saloon may be absolutely prohibited arbitrarily it is both unconstitutional and unlawful at common law. This is the full meaning of the statement that no one possesses a constitutional right to keep a saloon.
THE SALOON IS NOT AN INALIENABLE RIGHT What are inalienable rights?
The Standard Dictionary says: "Inalienable” means "Not transferable; that can not be rightfully, properly or legally sold, conveyed or taken away."
The courts say: "No one possesses an inalienable right to keep a saloon for the sale of intoxicating liquor.” Why? The Declaration of Independence says: “All men are created equal; they are endowed by Almighty God with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The United States Supreme Court has said that, among these inalienable rights "is the right of men to pursue any lawful business." Justice Bradley of that court 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, of which he can not be deprived without invading his right to liberty within the meaning of the constitution.”
Liberty is an inalienable right. Liberty, within the meaning of the constitution, includes the right to follow any lawful business or calling. The pursuit of a lawful business or calling is, therefore, an inalienable right. The saloon is not an inalienable right, therefore, it is not a lawful trade or calling; it is not one of the civil or equal rights of men. A business that may be prohibited entirely can not be an inalienable right. The saloon may be prohibited entirely and arbitrarily, therefore, it is not an in