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:

Replogle v. Little Rock, 166 Ark. 617, 267 S.W. 353 (1924):
“Under  our State and Federal Constitutions all men have the inalienable right  to acquire, possess and protect property and to pursue their own  happiness, and of these sacred rights no man can be deprived without due  process of law. Any statute, or municipal ordinance enacted pursuant  thereto, which challenges the right of any person to engage in the  legitimate and honest occupation of plumbing, without restraint or  regulation, must find its justification in the fact that such a statute  or ordinance is necessary to promote the general welfare. No individual  can be deprived of the right to pursue his happiness in his own way, and  to engage in honest toil in any avocation and in any manner he sees  proper, in order to make a living for himself and those who may be  dependent upon him, so long as he does not use such right in a manner to  injure others. So long as the individual does not transcend this bound,  his conduct is not subject to police regulation. Police power can only  be exercised to suppress, restrain or regulate the liberty of individual  action when such action is injurious to the public welfare. When  statutes, and municipal ordinances pursuant thereto, have been enacted  purporting to protect the health and welfare of a community, all doubts  as to the constitutionality of such legislation must be resolved in its  favor. * * * But, when such enactments are challenged as an invasion of  the rights and liberties of the individual guaranteed by the fundamental  law, then it becomes the duty of the courts to lay these enactments  alongside the Constitution and determine whether the exercise of the  police power in the suppression or regulation of ordinary occupations,  trades or callings is really necessary for the public good."

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, 28, 44 A. 1051 (1899):
“To forbid an individual, or a class,  the right to the acquisition or enjoyment of property, in such manner as  should be permitted to the community at large, would be to deprive them  of liberty, in particulars of primary importance to their pursuit of  happiness."

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:

Cincinnati v. Correll, 141 Ohio St. 535, 540, 49 N.E.2d 412 (1943):
“the  business of barbering is a lawful business, and that the right to carry  on such business is a property right constitutionally protected against  unwarranted and arbitrary interference by legislative bodies.”

Oklahoma:

State ex rel. Short v. Riedell, 109 Okla. 35, 39, 233 P. 684 (1924):

"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.'

“To this has been added, by the Bill of  Rights of this state, ‘and the enjoyment of the gains of their own  industry.’ When these words from the Declaration of Independence were  quoted in the Bill of Rights with the added words, ‘and the enjoyment of  the gains of their own industry,’ it was for the purpose of stressing  the inherent right of the individual as against unnecessary encroachment  upon those rights by the state.”

Oregon:

Ex parte Northrup, 41 Or. 489, 492, 69 P. 445 (1902):
"Every  individual, under the constitution, is entitled as of right to the  greatest degree of freedom in action compatible with a just preservation  of equal rights and privileges to every other citizen and the promotion  of the public welfare. This is civil liberty. The fundamental principle  upon which it is based is equality under the law, and it signifies not  only freedom of the citizen from servitude and restraint, but accords to  every one the right to be left free in the use of his powers and  faculties, and to adopt and pursue such vocations and employment as his  untrammeled will may suggest, subject only to such restraint as is  necessary to secure the general welfare. The right of property, in its  broad sense, is not only the right of possession and enjoyment, but also  the right to secure it through any lawful industry, pursuit, or calling  adopted in the exercise of one's liberty, which, it is said, `is the  foundation of all wealth' * * *."

Christian v. LaForge, 194 Or. 450, 475, 242 P.2d 797 (Or. 1952):
"It is the consensus of judicial opinion, state and federal, that the  right of an individual engaged in an inherently lawful occupation to fix  the price for which he will render personal service is a part of the  liberty reserved to him against governmental encroachment, protected by  the Constitutions, both State and Federal.”

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”).

Finis.



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