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alienable right. A business that is not an inalienable right, may be wholly prohibited. The saloon is not an inalienable right, hence it may be prohibited altogether.
In the language of Justice Field: "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 them their highest enjoyment.”
When the courts deny that the saloon is an inalienable right, they in effect, declare that it is not conductive to the happiness of mankind; they affirm that it is dangerous to and destructive of the happiness of citizens; and, being so, the saloon is unquestionably unlawful at common law.
The plainest and, perhaps, the most easily understood definition of inalienable rights is that of Justice Bradley, in Butcher's Union Co. vs. Crescent City Co., 111 U. S. 746, in 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."
Accepting this language as correct, the saloon is not one of the common occupations of life, and it is not one of the common occupations of life, because, it is harmful to society. It is not an inalienable right, because it is not one of the lawful callings of life; it is not protected by the "liberty" and "pursuit of happiness" clauses of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution. And, as it is not an inalienable right, it is not a constitutional right. Men have inalienable rights to do right, but no person can have an inalienable right to do a wrong.
THE SALOON IS NOT AN INHERENT RIGHT
“There is no inherent right in a citizen to thus sell intoxicating liquor.”
The United States Supreme Court has used this expression no less than twelve different times and almost every state supreme court of the Union has declared that no person has an inherent right to keep a saloon. The cases in which such declarations have been made are so numerous that it would be a test of time, eyes and digests to collect and cite all of them, and to do so would serve no useful purpose. It is sufficient to say that the declaration has been made by the Supreme Courts of the States of Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina, Idaho, Colorado, Michigan, Louisiana, Oregon, Missouri, Iowa, Virginia, Alabama, South Dakota, Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, District of Columbia, and perhaps others.
As illustrative of their import, the case of Harrison vs. People, 222 Ill. 150, is a good example. In this case the Supreme Court of Illinois said: “It must be conceded that the business of keeping a saloon or dramshop is one which no citizen has a natural or inherent right to pursue.”
In the opinion of this court, it is so apparent that no one has an inherent right to keep a saloon, that the assertion is regarded as a conceded proposition. But, what is the meaning of the statement? If to keep a saloon is not an inherent right, why not? What is meant by inherent rights of citizenship? Inhere is the key word, and it literally means to stick in, so that inherent rights of citizenship are the rights that stick in and are a part of the very essence of citizenship.
We have gone a long way toward solving the question, when we understand that government is solely a protective institution; that its function is to preserve and protect pre-existing rights, and not to create or grant rights. Citizenship was established and government instituted for the very purpose of promoting and guarding the safety, health, peace,
, good order and morals of the people, and how could it be possible for that which endangers safety, health, peace, good order and morals to be a part of the essence of citizenship?
Probably no clearer definition of inherent rights can be found anywhere than that embodied in the following statement of Justice Field, of the Supreme Court of the United States : "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 governmental 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