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Mugler v. Kansas

United States Supreme Court
123 U.S. 623 (1887)


Mugler, Ziebold, and Hagelin (codefendants) operated two breweries, which they continued to operate after the State of Kansas (plaintiff) enacted a statute banning the manufacture and sale of beer. The statute allowed a few exceptions, for example, the manufacture and sale of beer for medicinal use. Violators could be prosecuted, their breweries closed, and brewery fixtures and stock destroyed. Kansas successfully prosecuted Mugler for violating the statute. Mugler appealed to the Supreme Court of Kansas, which affirmed his conviction. Kansas also sought a court order enjoining Ziebold and Hagelin from continuing to operate their brewery. The three brewers claimed that the Kansas statute significantly lessened the value of their brewery properties and that the state's failure to compensate the brewers for that devaluation deprived them of their right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Mugler appealed to the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Kansas, and Kansas allowed the circuit court to hear the case against Ziebold and Hagelin as well. The circuit court ruled for the brewers, and Kansas appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)

Dissent (Field, J.)

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