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4. There is something more in a workmen's compensation law than the element of hazard, which gives room for the power of classification that a legislature may exercise in its judgment of what is necessary for the public welfare, and that cannot be pronounced arbitrary because it may be disputed and opposed by argument and opinion of serious strength.

567; Sperry & H. Co. v. State, 188 Ind. 173, 122 N. E. 584.

If the act is unconstitutional as to

employees, it is unconstitutional as to employers.

Mountain Timber Co. v. Washington, 243 U. S. 219, 61 L. ed. 685, 37 Sup. Ct. Rep. 260, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 642, 13 N. C. C. A. 927.

A corporation is within the meaning

[For other cases, see Constitutional Law, IV. a, 5, a; IV. b, 7, a, in Digest Sup. Ct. of the provision of the Indiana Bill of


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Rights, prohibiting the general assembly from granting privileges or immunities to any citizen or class of citizens which, Decided Feb- upon the same terms, do not apply equally to all citizens.

Street v. Varney Electrical Supply Co.

APPEAL from the District Court of 160 Ind. 338, 61 L.R.A. 154, 98 Am. St.

the United States for the District of Indiana to review a decree which dismissed the bill in a suit to enjoin the enforcement of the state Workmen's Compensation Act. Affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion. Messrs. William H. Thompson and Henry W. Moore argued the cause, and, with Messrs. Samuel D. Miller and Frank C. Dailey, filed a brief for appellant:

A private corporation is protected by the due process of law and equal protection of the law clauses of the 14th Amendment.

Covington & L. Turnp. Road Co. v. Sandford, 164 U. S. 578, 41 L. ed. 560, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 198; Southern R. Co. v. Greene, 216 U. S. 400, 54 L. ed. 536, 39 Sup. Ct. Rep. 287, 17 Ann. Cas. 1247; Smyth v. Ames, 169 U. S. 466, 42 L. ed. 819, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 418; Western Turf Asso. v. Greenberg, 204 U. S. 359, 51 L. ed. 520, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 384.

In order to sustain a classification for legislative purposes, it is necessary:

a. That the reason for the classification inhere in the subject-matter.

b. That the classification rest on some

basis which is natural and substantial.

c. That the classification treat all brought under its influence alike under

the same conditions.

d. That it embrace all within the class to which it is naturally related.

Cotting v. Kansas City Stock Yards Co. (Cotting v. Godard) 183 U. S. 79, 107, 112, 46 L. ed. 92, 107, 109, 22 Sup. Ct. Rep. 30; Connolly v. Union Sewer Pipe Co. 184 U. S. 540, 560, 564, 46 L. ed. 679, 690, 691, 22 Sup. Ct. Rep. 431; Bedford Quarries Co. v. Bough, 168 Ind. 671, 14 L.R.A. (N.S.) 418, 80 N. E. 529; Cleveland, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v. Schuler, 182 Ind. 57, L.R.A.1915A, 884, 105 N. E.

Rep. 325, 66 N. E. 895; Inland Steel Co. V. Yedinak, 172 Ind. 423, 139 Am. St. Rep. 389, 87 N. E. 229.

The above referred-to section of the Indiana Constitution renders a law invalid if an unreasonable and arbitrary classification has been made.

Street v. Varney Electrical Supply Co. supra; Hirth-Krause Co. v. Cohen, 177 Ind. 1, 87 N. E. 1, Ann. Cas. 1914C, 708.

The Employers' Liability Acts of Indiana have been construed by the supreme court of Indiana as applicable only to the persons engaged in the hazardous business of operating trains, and it has been held that, to apply such statutes to employees engaged in a nonhazardous business, would render them invalid under art. 1, § 23, of the Indiana Constitution.

Indianapolis Traction & Terminal Co. v. Kinney, 171 Ind. 612, 23 L.R.A. (N.S.) 711, 85 N. E. 954; Cleveland, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v. Foland, 174 Ind. 411, 91 N. E. 594, 92 N. E. 165; Richey v. Cleveland, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. 176 Ind. 542, 47 L.R.A. (N.S.) 121, 96 N. E. 694.

Said § 18, as amended, is violative of § 21 of the Indiana Bill of Rights, providing that no man's property shall be taken without just compensation. Here the law provides that coal-mining companies are required to pay for injuries sustained by their employees without negligence, while all other private business employers in Indiana may elect not to do so. This amounts to the taking of the property of coal-mining companies without compensation for a public purpose; viz., the protection of employees of coal mines against industrial injuries occasioned without negligence.

Messrs. E. M. White and John A. Riddle argued the cause, and, with Messrs. U. S. Lesh, Harold A. Hender

son, and Mr. Ele Stansbury, Attorney General of Indiana, filed a brief for appellees:

A legislature is presumed to have acted within constitutional limits, upon full knowledge of the facts, and with the purpose of promoting the interests of the people as a whole, and the courts will not lightly hold that an act duly passed by the legislature was one in the enactment of which it has transcended its power.

Atchison, T. & S. F. R. Co. v. Matthews, 174 U. S. 104, 43 L. ed. 909, 19 Sup. Ct. Rep. 609.

So long as legislation applies impartially to all the constituents of a class, so that the law shall operate equally and uniformly upon all persons in similar circumstances, both in privilege conferred and liability imposed, it cannot be said to be violative of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Magoun v. Illinois Trust & Sav. Bank, 170 U. S. 293, 42 L. ed. 1042, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 594.

The business of coal mining is attended with dangers that render it the proper subject of regulation by the state, in the exercise of the police power.

Plymouth Coal Co. v. Pennsylvania, 232 U. S. 540, 58 L. ed. 717, 34 Sup. Ct. Rep. 359.

It is the province of state courts to construe and interpret state statutes when called upon to do so, as to whether they violate their state Constitution, and such construction, adopted by the state courts, will be the one adopted by the Federal courts.

Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Garrett, 231 U. S. 298, 58 L. ed. 229, 34 Sup. Ct. Rep. 48; Pelten v. Commercial Nat. Bank, 101 U. S. 143, 25 L. ed. 901; Michigan C. R.| Co. v. Powers, 201 U. S. 245, 50 L. ed. 744. 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 459.

The police power reserved in the state is as broad and plenary as the taxing power.

Mountain Timber Co. v. Washington, 243 U. S. 219, 61 L. ed. 685, 37 Sup. Ct. Rep. 260, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 642, 13 N. C. C. A. 927; Kidd v. Pearson, 128 U. S. 1, 32 L. ed. 346, 2 Inters. Com. Rep. 232, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 6.

It is competent and within the power of the Indiana legislature, under the Indiana state Constitution, in the exercise of police power, to take steps for the protection of the lives and limbs of all persons who may be exposed to dangerous agencies in the hands of others, and to enact classifying legislation on the basis of peculiar hazards in a given industry, and the Indiana Employers' Liability Act (Acts 1893, p. 294) was upheld because a particular classification of the act was made on the basis of peculiar hazards in railroading, and because it applied equally to all employers and employees within the class, and, hence, violated neither § 23 of the Indiana Bill of Rights nor the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Indianapolis Union R. Co. v. Houlihan, 157 Ind. 494, 54 L.R.A. 787, 60 N. E. 943.

The enforcement of regulations enacted in the proper exercise of the police power of the state cannot be resisted as the taking of private property without compensation, in violation of § 21 of the Indiana Bill of Rights.

Stone v. Fritts, 169 Ind. 361, 15 L.R.A. (N.S.) 1147, 82 N. E. 792, 14 Ann. Cas. 295; State v. Richcreek, 167 Ind. 217, 5 L.R.A. (N.S.) 874, 119 Am. St. Rep. 491, 77 N. E. 1085, 10 Ann. Cas. 899; Levy v. State, 161 Ind. 251, 68 N. E. 172; Aurora v. West, 9 Ind. 74.

No existing state compensation law has ever been declared by the Supreme Court of the United States to be in violation of the due process or equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.

New York C. R. Co. v. White, 243 U. S. 188, 61 L. ed. 667, L.R.A.1917D, 1, 37 Sup. Ct. Rep. 247, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 629, 13 N. C. C. A. 943; Hawkins v. Bleakley, 243 U. S. 210, 61 L. ed. 678, 37 Sup. Ct. Rep. 255, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 637, 13 N. C. C. A. 959; Mountain Timber Co. v. Washington, 243 U. S. 219, 61 L. ed. 685, 37 Sup. Ct. Rep. 260, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 642, 13 N. C. C. A. 927; Middleton v. Texas Power & Light Co. 249 U. S. 152, 63 L. ed. 527, 39 Sup. Ct. Rep. 227; Employers' Liability Cases (Arizona Copper Co. v. Hammer) 250 U. S. 400, 63 L. ed. 1058, 6 A.L.R. 1537,

The supreme court of the state of Indiana has held the power of taxation to be inherent in the state, and a legis-39 Sup. Ct. Rep. 553. lative power limited only by the provisions of the Indiana state Constitution itself.

State ex rel. Goodman v. Halter, 149 Ind. 292, 47 N. E. 665, 49 N. E. 7.

A liberal construction of statutes and a strict construction of constitutional provisions is a safe and reasonable judicial policy.

Walcott v. Wigton, 7 Ind. 44; Lafay

ette, M. & B. R. Co. v. Geiger, 34 Ind., N. E. 421; State v. Lowry, 166 Ind. 372, 185. 4 L.R.A.(N.S.) 528, 77 N. E. 728, 9 Ann. Cas. 350.

The Indiana state Constitution is not a grant of power to the legislature, but a limitation of its general power.


Hovey v. State, 119 Ind. 395, 21 N. E.

A statute will not be held unconstitutional merely because it is unjust and repugnant to general principles of justice, liberty, or rights not expressed in the Indiana state Constitution.

Praigg v. Western Paving & Supply Co. 143 Ind. 358, 42 N. E. 750; State v. Gerhardt, 145 Ind. 439, 33 L.R.A. 313, 44 N. E. 469; Zapf v. State, 145 Ind. 696, 44 N. E. 1119; Grelle v. Wright, 145 Ind. 699, 44 N. E. 1119.

Courts may not declare an act void merely because, in their opinion, it is opposed to the spirit supposed to pervade the Constitution.

Horning v. Wendell, 57 Ind. 171; Logansport v. Seybold, 59 Ind. 225.

The courts will presume in favor of the constitutionality of a law until the contrary clearly appears.

State v. Cooper, 5 Black f. 258; Stocking v. State, 7 Ind. 326; Brown v. Buzan, 24 Ind. 194; Groesch v. State, 42 Ind. 547; Lucas v. Tippecanoe County, 44 Ind. 524; State ex rel. Jameson v. Denny, 118 Ind. 382, 4 L.R.A. 79, 21 N. E. 252.

In determining whether a statute is constitutional it is the duty of the courts to give such construction to it, if possible, as will uphold the act.

Maize v. State, 4 Ind. 342; Aker v. State, 5 Ind. 193; Hovey v. State, 119 Ind. 395, 21 N. E. 21.

A statute will not be declared unconstitutional unless no doubt exists on the question.

Carey v. Sheets, 60 Ind. 17; Parker v. State, 133 Ind. 178, 18 L.R.A. 567, 579, 32 N. E. 836, 33 N. E. 119; Smith v. Indianapolis Street R. Co. 158 Ind. 425, 63 N. E. 849.

The power of the courts to declare a statute of the state unconstitutional is a high one, and is never exercised in doubtful cases. To doubt is to resolve in favor of the constitutionality of the law.

The supreme court of Indiana has held that article 1, § 23, of the Bill of Rights of the Indiana state Constitution, is substantially the same as the privileges and immunities clause of § 1 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, in upholding the validity of the Bulk Sales Statute.

Hirth-Krause Co. v. Cohen, 177 Ind. 10, 97 N. E. 1, Ann. Cas. 1914C, 708.

The Indiana legislature has, on many different occasions, exercised its police power by enacting legislation relating solely to the business of coal mining; and, in every instance, such legislation has been upheld when attacked.

State v. Barrett, 172 Ind. 169, 87 N. E. 7; Barrett v. Indiana, 229 U. S. 26, 57 L. ed. 1050, 33 Sup. Ct. Rep. 692; Maule Coal Co. v. Partenheimer, 155 Ind. 100, 55 N. E. 751, 57 N. E. 710; Davis Coal Co. v. Polland, 158 Ind. 607, 92 Am. St. Rep. 319, 62 N. E. 492; Booth v. State, 179 Ind. 405, L.R.A.1915B, 420, 100 N. E. 563, Ann. Cas. 1915D, 987, 237 U. S. 391, 59 L. ed. 1011, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 617; Warren v. Sohn, 112 Ind. 213, 13 N. E. 863.

The Employers' Liability Act of Indiana (Acts 1911, p. 145), applying only to persons, firms, and corporations employing five or more persons, has been upheld.

Vandalia R. Co. v. Stillwell, 181 Ind. 267, 104 N. E. 289, Ann. Cas. 1916D, 258, 5 N. C. C. A. 483; Terre Haute, I. & E. Traction Co. v. Weddle, 183 Ind. 305, 108 N. E. 225; Kingan & Co. v. Clements, 184 Ind. 213, 110 N. E. 66.

Mr. Justice McKenna delivered the opinion of the court:

Appellant, the Lower Vein Coal Company, is a corporation of the state of Indiana. The Industrial Board of Indiana is a board created by an act of the general assembly of Indiana, approved March 8, 1915, known as "The Indiana Workmen's Compensation Act." The personal appellees are members of the board.

This suit was brought by the Coal Bush v. Indianapolis, 120 Ind. 476, 22 Company to enjoin the Industrial Board, N. E. 422.

Where two constructions of a state statute are open, that is to be adopted which preserves the constitutionality of the act.

Cleveland, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v Backus, 133 Ind. 513, 18 L.R.A. 729, 33

the governor and attorney general of the state, from enforcing in any manner § 18 of the Workmen's Compensation Act of the state, as amended by the general assembly in 1919, from asserting that plaintiff is compelled to operate under the Compensation Act,



from hearing any claim for compensa-, a general compensation law, applicable
as to all
tion asserted by any employee of the to all employers within the state, and
plaintiff so long as plaintiff elects not to make it compulsory as to one hazardous
come within the provisions of the act, employment, and elective
from making any award to any injured others (many equally as hazardous) ex-
employee, or his or her dependents, dur- cept railroad employees in train service,
ing such time, and from doing any other to which it does not apply at all." And
act or thing prejudicial to the rights of the insistence is "that such a classifica.
basis," and hence is inimical to the Con-
the plaintiff, so long as it elects not to tion rests upon no [147] sound or just
be bound by the act.
stitution of the United States and that
of Indiana.

The grounds for this relief were set forth in a complaint of considerable length to which the defendants sepaAfter rately and severally answered. trial of the issues thus presented, the district court entered its decree dismissing the bill for want of equity. This appeal was then prosecuted.

The Compensation Act is very long, and declares its purposes to be to promote the prevention of industrial [146] accidents, to cause provision to be made for adequate medical and surgical care for injured employees in the course of their employment; to provide methods of insuring the payment of such compensation; to create an Industrial Board for the administration of the act, and to prescribe the powers and duties of such board; to abolish the State Bureau of Inspection, and provide for the transfer to the Industrial Board certain rights, powers, and duties of the Bureau of Inspection.

The original act, passed in 1915, was elective, and left employer and employee the option of rejecting its terms, with certain exceptions. It was amended in 1917, and railroad employees engaged in train service were exempted from its provisions.

The amendment of 1919 made the act mandatory as to all coal-mining companies of the state and its political divisions, and as to municipal corporations. To all other employers the act remains permissive. They may elect to operate under its provisions. Railroad employees engaged in train service are not within them.

The sole question presented is the
validity of 18 as amended; that is,
the compulsion of coal companies to the
operation of the act, while to other em-
ployers it is permissive, or does not
The grounds of attack
apply at all.
upon it are that it violates the due proc-
ess clause and the equal protection of
the laws clause of the 14th Amendment
of the Constitution of the United States,
and §§ 21 and 23 of the Indiana Bill of
Rights. Specifically, the question is, as
the Coal Company expresses it, "whether
the Indiana general assembly may pass

The principle of law involved and the power of a state to distinguish and classify objects in its legislation have been too often declared, too abundantly and variously illustrated, to need It is that repetition, and we pass immediately to the contention of counsel. the act is addressed to hazardous employments, and where, in employments, that character exists, sameness exists, and a law which ignores such sameness discriminates in its operation, and offends the Constitution of the United States. It may be that the Coal Company does not contend for so broad a principle, but may assert protection by a comparison of its business with other businesses equally hazardous, or more hazardous than coal mining, and that necessarily the exemption of the taints it with illegal discrimination. To businesses so compared from the law support and justify the comparison, statistics of accidents are given in the complaint, and in the number of accidental injuries coal mines are made to run fifth. Notwithstanding those other comcoal-mining companies must stay. panies may go in or out of the law


The answer replies with counter assertions and statistics, and a detail of the methods of coal mining, and what their methods cause of accidents to the miners, and to these are added, it is said, the risks that come from the generation of noxious and explosive gases. dressed to the conflicting statistics and And there is evidence in the case, adthe conclusions to be deduced from them, which occupies about ninety-three pages of the record. In this evidence occupations and businesses are and otherwise. fatal pared with estimates of accidents in each, and their character, severity, and consequences, There is also testimony of the wages And that mine workers get and of their prosperity, and that they ave a legal department and paid attorneys. there is averment and testimony [148] of two organizations of mine owners who retain officers and attorneys to defend



suits and secure releases from personal | all other matters into consideration, injury claims.

The length and character of the reports and tables of statistics preclud summary. It may be conceded that dif❘ ferent deductions may be made from them, but they and the controversies over them and what they justified o demanded of remedy were matters for the legislative judgment, and that judg ment is not open to judicial review. Indeed, there may be a comprehension of effects and practical influences that cannot be presented to a court and measured by it, and which it may be the duty of government to promote or resist, or deemed advisable to do so. Degrees of policies, if they have bases, are not for our consideration, and the bases cannot be judged of by abstract speculations or the controversies of opinion. Legislation is impelled and addressed to concrete conditions deemed or demonstrated to be obstacles to something better, and the better, it may be, having attainment or prospect in different occupations (we say occupations, as this case is concerned with them) dependent in the legislative consideration upon their distinctions in some instances, upon their identities in others, and, as the case may be, associated or separated in regulation. And this is the rationale of the principle of classification, and of the cases which are at once the results and illustrations of it.

grounds for the legislative judgment expressed in the amendment of 1919, under consideration; that is, § 18, as amended. And the fact is to be borne in mind that there are 30,000 employees in the state, engaged in coal mining.

The Coal Company further contends that the law includes within its terms all the company's employees, whether engaged in the hazardous part of its business or not so engaged. In other words, it asserts that the conditions of those who work underground may justify the law, but do not justify its application to those who work above ground. The contention has a certain speciousness, but cannot be entertained. commits the law and its application to distinctions that might be very confusing in its administration, and subjects it and the controversies that may arise under it to various tests of facts, and this against the same company. The contention is answered in effect by Booth v. Indiana, 237 U. S. 391, 59 L. ed. 1011, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 617.


Appellant invokes against the law §§ 21 and 23 of the Indiana Bill of Rights, which respectively in- which respectively provide that no man's property or particular services shall be taken without just compensation, nor, except in the case of the state, without compensation being first assessed and tendered; nor shall there be a grant of privileges to any citizen or class of citizens that shall not belong to all citizens.

There are facts of especial pertinence that make the principle apply in the present case and justify the legislation of the state. That coal mining has peculiar conditions has been quite universally recognized and declared. It has been recognized and declared by this court, and is manifested in the laws of the states where coal mining obtains. There is something in this universal sense and its impulse to special legislation, enough, certainly, to remove such legislation from the charge of being an unreasonable or arbitrary exercise of


Appellant, however, while admitting, indeed, citing [150] cases to show that the classification of objects of legislation the same bases of power and purpose as under the Bill of Rights of the state has the classification of objects under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, yet contends that the supreme court of the state has strictly construed the Bill of Rights of the state, and has observed a precision in classification not required or practised [149] The action of the Coal Com- in the application of the 14th Amendpany indicates that it considered the coal ment. Citing for this Indianapolis business distinctive. Other businesses, Traction & Terminal Co. v. Kinney, 171 though, according to the Coal Com- Ind. 612, 617, 23 L.R.A. (N.S.) 711, 85 pany's assertion, as hazardous as coal N. E. 954; Cleveland, O. C. & St. L. R. mining, accepted the law; the Coal Com- Co. v. Foland, 174 Ind. 411, 91 N. E. pany and other coal companies rejected 594, 92 N. E. 165; Richey v. Cleveland, it. To this, of course, the coal companies were induced by comparison of advantages; but the inducements to reject the legislation might well have been the inducement to make it compulsory. At any rate, there are, taking that and

C. C. & St. L. R. Co. 176 Ind. 542, at p. 558, 47 L.R.A.(N.S.) 121, 96 N. E. 694.

These cases were constructions of the

Employers' Liability Act of the state.
It was held in Indianapolis Traction &

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