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State v. Menderson

Supreme Court of Arizona

March 22, 1941

THE STATE OF ARIZONA, Appellant,
v.
C. M. MENDERSON, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. G. A. Rodgers, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr. Joe Conway, Attorney General, and Mr. Albert M. Garcia, Assistant Attorney General; Mr. Richard F. Harless, County Attorney, and Mr. Anthony T. Deddens, Deputy County Attorney, for Appellant; and Mr. Joseph A. Padway, of Washington, D.C., of Counsel.

Mr. Lynn M. Laney and Mr. Grant Laney, for Appellee.

OPINION

[57 Ariz. 104] ROSS, J.

This case involves the constitutionality, as well as the construction, of an initiated measure passed by the vote of the electors of the state in 1915 and is found in the Arizona Code of 1939 as sections 43-1606 and 43-1607. The first section defines a black-list as a medium of information communicated by one employer of labor to other employers of labor to discharge or not to employ certain identified persons "whereby the laborer is prevented or prohibited from engaging in a useful occupation." The next section, and the one immediately for consideration, as far as material, reads as follows:

[57 Ariz. 105] "43-1607. Violations by officers of corporations defined -- Penalty. -- Any employer, boss, superintendent, manager, officer or other agent of any company, corporation, syndicate, partnership or society who shall command or persuade any person to give a photograph, or to fill out any written or printed form, or to make any verbal statements, or any other method or means of identification as to whom his or her former employer was; or any employer, boss, superintendent, manager, officer or other agent who shall discharge any person or persons on account of his or her affiliation with or membership in any corporation, organization or society, or because of former discharge of, or because of any blacklist of, any former employer, shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, and shall be liable in damages to any person or persons injured by such violation to the amount of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000), to be recovered by civil action."

C. M. Menderson, the appellee, was charged by information with discharging from his employment one Simon M. Mead on account of his being a member of a labor union. His demurrer to the information challenged the statute on several grounds. The first is that it conflicts with the due process clauses of the State and Federal Constitutions, in that it interferes with the liberty of contract and is an unwarranted restraint upon the right of contract.

Page 623

Sec. 4, art. II, state Const.; 14th Amendment to Constitution of the United States.

Another is that it is class and special legislation violative of section 13, article II, and section 19, part 2 of article IV of the State Constitution.

It was also urged that the statute defining the crime charged in the information is so indefinite and vague as to deny due process. 14th Amend. U.S. Const. and sec. 4, art. II, state Const., supra. [57 Ariz. 106]

The demurrer was sustained, and the state has appealed.

We have come to the conclusion that the last point is well taken and, that being so, it will not be ...


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