Imágenes de páginas

reference will be made in the notes to other decisions in similar cases.

$ 340. Oregon statute prohibiting employment of Chinese laborers declared void.-In order to prevent the employment of Chinese labor to as great an extent as possible, the State of Oregon passed a law prohibiting the employment of Chinese laborers on public works. An attempt was made under this statute to enjoin a contractor from employing Chinese labor. Judge Deady, of the United States District Court, held 1 that “the United States court had jurisdiction under the treaties between the United States and China of 1858 and 1868; that until abrogated or modified these treaties were the supreme law of the land and that the courts were bound to enforce them.” In regard to the right to labor while in this country, he declared, that the right to come and reside given by the treaty necessarily implied the right to live and to labor for a living, and that so far as the State was concerned, Chinese subjects had a right to enjoy all the privileges here of the most favored nation.

In regard to State interference with treaty rights, the opinion says: “So far as this court and the case before it is concerned, the treaty furnishes the law, and with that treaty no state or municipal corporation thereof can interfere. Admit the wedge of State interference ever so little, and there is nothing to prevent its being driven home and destroying the treaty and overriding the treaty-making power altogether. But it is not necessary to consider further this feature of the case, because, this demurrer must be sustained upon other grounds.

$ 341. California's constitution of 1879; anti-Chinese provisions declared void.-In California the anti-Chinese agitators went further; the constitution adopted in 1879, among other things, prohibited corporations from employing Chinese labor and authorized the enactment of all legislation necessary to enforce the provision; statutes were accordingly passed making such employment a misdemeanor; one Tirburcio Parrott was arrested for violating one of these statutes; he sued out a writ of habeas corpus in the United $ 340.

U. S. Cir. Ct. 1879, 5 Sawyer, 566. 1 Baker vs. City of Portland, See p. 570, Fed. Cas. 777, DEADY, J.

States courts, on the ground that the provision of the State constitution and acts passed thereunder were void, because they were in violation of the provisions of the treaty of 1868 with China ; in a long and able opinion, Mr. Justice Sawyer reviewed the whole treaty-making power of the United States, holding that the laws violated treaty provisions, and he discharged the petitioner.

In the course of the opinion, after citing Article VI of the Constitution of the United States, he says:

-" There can be no mistaking the significance, or effect of these plain, concise, emphatic provisions. The states have surrendered the treaty-making power to the general government, and vested it in the president and senate; and when duly exercised by the president and senate, the treaty resulting is the supreme law of the land, to which not only state laws, but state constitutions, are in express terms subordinated.” Citing from Ware vs. Hylton, he continues: “It is the declared duty of the state judges to determine any constitution or laws of any state contrary to that treaty, or any other made under the authority of the United States, null and void. National or federal judges are bound by duty and oath to the same conduct.” 1

§ 342. California anti-Chinese statutes declared void.In the case of Chy Lung vs. Freeman' the United States Supreme Court held that a statute of California ostensibly


§ 341.

lations in Chinese treaty as dis1 In re Tirburcio Parrott, U. S. criminating against Chinese and Cir. Ct. Cal. 1880; 6 Sawyer, 349. in favor of other aliens. See p. 369, HOFFMAN, SAWYER, JJ. In United States vs. Quong W00, $ 342.

U.S. Cir. Ct. Cal. 1882, 13 Fed. Rep. 1 Chy Lung vs. Freeman, U. S. 229, 7 Sawyer, 526, FIELD, J., which Sup. Ct. 1875, 92 U. S. 275, MIL- was one of the Chinese Laundry

Cases an ordinance making it unSee also In re Ah Fong, U. S. lawful to establish and carry on Cir. Ct. Cal. 1874, 3 Sawyer, 144, laundries within certain limits FIELD, J.

without having obtained the conIn re Ah Chong, U. $. Cir. Ct. Cal. sent of the Board of Supervisors, 1880, 6 Sawyer, 451, SAWYER, J. which should only be based upon State law prohibiting aliens, who recommendations of not less than could not be naturalized, from twelve citizens and taxpayers in fishing in public waters held void the block in which the laundry was because in contravention of stipu-to be established, was held void

passed to prevent lewd and debauched women from foreign countries landing in ports of the States, although apparently general in its terms, was, in reality, aimed at all Chinese women, and that it was void because it extended far beyond the necessities of State control of commerce and thereby invaded the right of Congress to regulate commerce with foreign nations.

One of the most interesting cases in this respect was the famous Queue case which involved the validity of an ordinance of the City of San Francisco providing that every person imprisoned in the county jail upon a criminal judgment should immediately, upon arrival at the jail, have his hair clipped to the uniform length of one inch from the scalp; as can readily be seen, this was not a regulation for care of convicts, but the action of a municipal corporation aimed directly at a particular class, although the ordinance was clothed in language which apparently veiled the actual intent.?

$ 343. Justice Field's opinion in the Chinese Queue Case ; 1879.---The case was argued before Mr. Justice Field, sitting as Circuit Judge at San Francisco, in 1879. He decided that the ordinance was invalid and unconstitutional under the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment, because it was aimed at, and applied to, a particular class of persons, thereby denying to them equal protection under the laws; he also held, that as the legislation was aimed at a class of aliens it was void because it violated the treaty stipulations with China.

In deciding this point the learned Justice said:

“We are aware of the general feeling--amounting to positive hostility-prevailing in California against the Chinese, which would prevent their further immigration hither and expel from the state those already here. Their dissimilarity in physical characteristics, in language, manners and religion would seem, from past experience, to prevent the possibility and improper as repugnant to the ground that the matters involved provisions with the treaty with are within the police power of the China.

State. But see § 344 and also cases col 2 Ho Ah Kow v. Nunan, U. S. lated under $$ 356–357, post, of this Cir. Ct. Cala., 1879, 5 Sawyer, 552, chapter, in which laws and ordi- FIELD, J. See next section for exnances have been sustained on the tract from opinion.

of their assimilation with our people. And thoughtful persons, looking at the millions which crowd the opposite shores of the Pacific, and the possibility at no distant day of their pouring over in vast hordes among us, giving rise to fierce antagonism of race, hope that some way may be devised to prevent their further immigration. We feel the force and importance of these considerations; but the remedy for the apprehended evil is to be sought from the general government, where, except in certain special cases, all power over the subject lies.) To that government belong exclusively the treaty-making power and the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, which includes intercourse as well as traffic, and, with the exceptions presently mentioned, the power to prescribe the conditions of immigration or importation of persons. The state in these particulars, with those exceptions, is powerless, and nothing is gained by the attempted assertion of a control which can never be admitted. The state may exclude from its limits paupers and convicts of other countries, persons incurably diseased, and others likely to become a burden upon its resources. It may perhaps also exclude persons whose presence would be dangerous to its established institutions. But there its power ends. Whatever is done by way of exclusion beyond this must come from the general government. That government alone can determine what aliens shall be permitted to land within the United States and upon what conditions they shall be permitted to remain; whether they shall be restricted in business transactions to such as appertain to foreign commerce, as is practically the case with our people in China, or whether they shall be allowed to engage in all pursuits equally with citizens. For restrictions necessary or desirable in these matters, the appeal must be made to the general government; and it is not believed that the appeal will ultimately be disregarded. Be that as it may, nothing can be accomplished in that direction by hostile and spiteful legislation on the part of the state, or its municipal bodies, like the ordinance in question-legislation which is unworthy of a brave and manly people. Against such legislation it will always


be the duty of the judiciary to declare and enforce the paramount law of the nation.” 1

$ 344. State statutes upheld ; Chinese Laundry Cases.It must not be presumed, however, that the Federal Courts have always interfered to prevent State action in regard to matters which are wholly under their control, and that they have used the treaty-making power as an excuse for interfering in their internal affairs; in 1885 the same learned Justice of the Supreme Court who had declared the San Francisco queue ordinance invalid, sustained a municipal ordinance of San Francisco imposing certain regulations and restrictions upon laundries, and which was as undoubtedly aimed directly at the Chinese as the queue ordinance had been; the Supreme Court held, however, that the regulation of laundries was a matter which came within the right of the municipality, and that treaty stipulations as to rights to live and labor should not be used to prevent the proper enforcement of municipal regulations."

$ 343.

business within certain hours, that 15 Sawyer p. 563-564.

it permits other and different kinds $ 344.

of business to be done within those i Soon Hing vs. Crowley, 113 U.S. hours. 703, U. S. Sup. Ct. 1885, FIELD, J. “Municipal restrictions imposed

In this case the San Francisco upon one class of persons engaged municipal ordinance in regard to in a particular business, which are laundries was under consideration not imposed upon others engaged and the question of whether or not in the same business and under it was aimed expressly at the Chi- like conditions impair the equal nese was involved.

right which all can claim in the enThe points decided are stated in forcement of the laws. the syllabus as follows:

“When the general security and “ The decision in Barbier vs. Con: welfare require that a particular nolly, U. S. Sup. Ct. 1885, FIELD, J., kind of work should be done at cer113 U. S. 27,—that a municipal or- tain times or hours, and an ordidinance prohibiting from washing nance is made to that effect, a perand ironing in public laundries and son engaged in performing that wash-houses within defined terri- sort of work has no inherent right torial limits, from ten o'clock at to pursue his occupation during night, to six in the morning, is a the prohibited time. police regulation within the com “ This court cannot inquire into petency of a municipality possessed the motives of legislators in enactof ordinary powers-affirmed. ing laws, except as they may be

"It is no objection to a municipal disclosed on the face of the acts, or ordinance prohibiting one kind of be inferable from their operation,

« AnteriorContinuar »