1 minute read

Slaughterhouse Cases

The Slaughterhouse Monopoly, Monopoly As "servitude", Equal Protection, Further Readings


Butchers' Benevolent Association of New Orleans; The Livestock Dealers' and Butchers' Association of New Orleans


The Crescent City Live Stock Landing and Slaughter House Company; State of Louisiana

Appellants' Claim

That the state's establishment of a monopoly in stock slaughtering violated the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Chief Lawyers for Appellants

John Campbell, J. Q. A. Fellows

Chief Lawyer for Appellees

T. J. Durant

Justices for the Court

Salmon Portland Chase, Nathan Clifford, David Davis, Ward Hunt, Samuel Freeman Miller (writing for the Court), William Strong

Justices Dissenting

Joseph P. Bradley, Stephen Johnson Field, Noah Haynes Swayne


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

14 April 1873


The state of Louisiana was within its regular police powers to protect public health to establish a monopoly slaughterhouse down river from New Orleans.


Although the court ruled that the state-established slaughterhouse monopoly was legal, it ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment, originally intended to protect the civil rights of freed slaves, also protected other citizens against hostile action by state governments. However,the decision favored the state's own interpretation of when such rights would be violated.

Related Cases

  • Butcher's Union Co. v. Crescent City Co., 111 U.S. 746 (1884).
  • Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, 467 U.S. 229 (1984).


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

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1833 to 1882