It is well settled that the state, in the exercise of its police power, may legislate to protect the health and promote the general welfare of its citizens. It is equally well settled that the objects of this solicitude have the right, protected by the Fourteenth Amendment and similar provisions in the state constitutions, to follow such industrial pursuits and make such contracts as they choose. Unfortunately, "these correlative rights, that of the citizen to exercise exclusive dominion over property and freely to contract about his affairs, and that of the state to regulate the use of property and the conduct of business, are always in collision." The conflict must be resolved in favor of the sovereign wherever there is a public need. But the cases deciding what constitutes sufficient public need are in as great a conflict as the rights themselves, and nowhere more so than in the field of state regulation of food production and distribution.
Charles C. Spangenberg,
POLICE POWER - DUE PROCESS AND STATE REGULATION OF FOOD PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol35/iss6/7