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Compagnie Francaise De Navigation A Vapeur v. Louisiana State Bd. of Health

Supreme Court of the United States

Argued October 29, 30, 1900 ; June 2, 1902

No. 4


 [*384]   [**813]   [***1213]  MR. JUSTICE WHITE, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court.

The law of Louisiana, under which the Board of Health exerted the authority which is complained of, is found in section 8 of Act No. 192, enacted in 1898. The portion of the section which is essential is as follows, the provision which is more directly pertinent to the case in hand being italicized:

] "In case that any parish, town or city, or any portion thereof, shall become infected with any contagious or infectious disease, to such an extent as to threaten the spread of such disease to the other portions of the State, the state Board of Health shall issue its proclamation declaring the facts [****9]  and ordering it in quarantine, and shall order the local boards of health of other parishes, towns and cities to quarantine against said locality, and shall establish and promulgate the rules and regulations, terms and conditions on which intercourse with said infected locality shall be permitted, and shall issue to the other local sanitary authorities instructions as to the measures adopted in quarantining against persons, goods or other property coming from said infected localities, and these rules and regulations,  [*385]  terms and conditions shall be observed and obeyed by all other health authorities, provided that should any other of the noninfected portion of the State desire to add to the regulations  [**814]  and rules, terms and conditions already imposed by the state board, they do so on the approval of the state Board of Health. The state Board of Health may, in its discretion, prohibit the introduction into any infected portion of the State, persons acclimated, unacclimated or said to be immune, when in its judgment the introduction of such persons would add to or increase the prevalence of the disease. The state Board of Health shall render the local boards [****10]  of health all the assistance in their power and which the condition of their finances will permit."

The Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana, interpreting this statute, held that ] it empowered the board to exclude healthy persons from a locality infested with a contagious or infectious disease, and that this power was intended to apply as well to persons seeking to enter the infected place, whether they came from without or from within the State. The court said:

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186 U.S. 380 *; 22 S. Ct. 811 **; 46 L. Ed. 1209 ***; 1902 U.S. LEXIS 903 ****




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