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Coppage v. Kansas

Significance, Employers' Rights Upheld, Dissent Over "freedom Of Contract", Impact, Yellow-dog Contracts


T. B. Coppage


State of Kansas

Appellant's Claim

Kansas statute prohibiting "yellow dog contracts" did not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

R. R. Vermilon, W. F. Evans

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

John S. Dawson, Attorney General of Kansas; J. I. Sheppard

Justices for the Court

Joseph Rucker Lamar, Joseph McKenna, James Clark McReynolds, Mahlon Pitney (writing for the Court), Willis Van Devanter, Edward Douglass White

Justices Dissenting

William Rufus Day, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Evans Hughes


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

25 January 1915


The Kansas statute, which outlawed yellow dog contracts, was an invalid and repressive infringement of an employer's right to engage in "freedom of contract" under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Related Cases

  • Frisbie v. United States, 157 U.S. 160 (1895).
  • Holden v. Hardy, 169 U.S. 366 (1898).
  • Adair v. United States, 208 U.S. 161 (1908).
  • Chicago, B. & Q. R. Co. v. McGuire, 219 U.S. 549 (1911).


West's Encyclopedia of American Law. Minneapolis, Minnesota: West Publishing, 1998.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917