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QUARANTINE LAWS, 269

dared quarantines against piaces where the disease was not even suspected. In 1878 the city of Mobile proclaimed a quarantine against all points upon the Mobile and Ohio railroad, admitting only through freight from beyond the Ohio river, a distance of four hundred and seventy miles, through four States, there being not a case of the disease along the whole line.^ Such examples might be multiplied. The question, what are the constitutional rights of municipalities in the matter of quarantine, apart from additional limitations imposed by State Constitutions, is the same as, what are the rights of the States themselves, for municipalities have no lawful power over the subject beyond that which is delegated to them by the State. In the examination of this question, only those constitutional limitations need be considered here which apply to quarantine laws as such. It is of course possible for a quarantine law to be unconstitutional on account of the insertion of extraordinary provisions, in no way appropriate or proper to quarantine regulation ; as, for example, imposing a tonnage tax in order to defray quarantine expenses.^ A large part of the con- stitutional prohibitions upon the States can be violated in the name of a quarantine law ; but the unconstitutional provisions would be intrinsically foreign to the purposes of quarantine, and no more to be expected in a quarantine law than in any other.

In its effect upon the status of persons or property coming from the district quarantined against, a declaration of quarantine has been well compared to a declaration of war. The rights of per- sons are determined by the fact that they or their goods come from a certain place at a certain time. A State threatened with the introduction of an epidemic disease is in a position very similar to that of a State in imminent danger of armed invasion.^ Declar- ing a quarantine is an administrative as opposed to a judicial act.*

1 4 Ala. St. Bar Ass'n, pp. 136, 137, 142.

« Peete v. Morgan, 19 Wall. 581 (1873) . It is said by the court, in Morgan v, Louis- iana, 118 U. S. 455, 463 (1886), that "in Pcete's case the tax was for every vessel arriving at a quarantine station, whether any service was rendered or not," as well as measured by the tonnage of the vesseL If the fees had been imposed only as compen- sation for services rendered in inspection, reasonably equivalent, it would not now be held that there was a tonnage tax within the meaning of the Constitution. See Packet G>. v, Keokuk, 95 U. S. 80 (1877) ; Transportation Co. v. Wheeling, 99 U. S. 273, 283 (1878 > ; Packet Co. v, St. Louis^ 100 U. S 423, 429 (1879); Morgan v. Louisiana, 1x8 U. S. 455 (1886).

  • Compare U. S. Const., art. i., sect. 10, cl. 3.
  • See Metropolitan Board of Health v, Heister, 37 N. V. 661, 672 (1868).