Evolution of Rational Police Power

 

CASE LAW
Dee v State of Maine 2014 Me 106

law.justia.com/cases/maine/supreme-court/2014/2014-me-106.html

 

Dee v. State | 2014 ME 106 | Me. | Judgment | Law | CaseMine

Per Curiam: [¶1]Specifically, he contends that the statutes violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. See U.S. Const. amends. IV, XIV, § 1. The court found that several Maine courts have already considered and rejected Dee’s arguments, and determined that the suit was frivolous. We agree and affirm the judgment.

                                           State v. Dee, 2012 ME 26, ¶ 2 n.1, 39 A.3d42

Per Curiam
[¶2] Dee argues that Maine’s prohibition of the possession of marijuana unconstitutionally infringes on his right to due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This is not the first time that Dee has litigated the constitutionality of marijuana prohibitions before the courts of Maine and elsewhere. Dee concedes that he does not have a fundamental right to possess marijuana, but he insists that the prohibition violates “his fundamental right to liberty and to property.” Notwithstanding this linguistic leap, we are not persuaded that Dee’s possession of marijuana implicates any of his fundamental rights.

[¶3] Where fundamental rights are not implicated, we review the validity of a statute exercising the State’s police power for a rational basis, which requires that “(1) the police powers be exercised to provide for the public welfare; (2) the legislative means employed be appropriate to achieve the ends sought; and (3) the manner of exercising the power not be unduly arbitrary or capricious.” State v. Haskell, 2008 ME 82, ¶¶ 5-6, 955 A.2d 737 (quotation marks omitted). There need only be some theoretical explanation for the statute, and the Legislature is not required to provide the facts that justify its enactment.

[¶4] Finally, the manner of exercising the police power, imposing a maximum civil fine of $1000 for possession of up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana, cannot be described as arbitrary or capricious. See 22 M.R.S. § 2383(1)(A); Haskell, 2008 ME 82, ¶ 6, 955 A.2d 737.

 

State v. Haskell, 2008 ME 82, ¶¶ 5-6, 955 A.2d 737 

 

law.justia.com/cases/maine/supreme-court/1998/1998-me-92-0.html

 

Alexander J.

[¶5] When the State exercises its police power to regulate for the general welfare and a fundamental right is not at issue, statutes are subjected to rational basis review. See State v. Nat’l Advertising Co., 409 A.2d 1277, 1288 (Me. 1979).


[¶6] Under a rational basis review, due process requires that (1) the police powers be exercised to provide for the public welfare; (2) the legislative means employed be appropriate to achieve the ends sought; and (3) “the manner of exercising the power not be unduly arbitrary or capricious.”A-4  Nugent v. Town of Camden, 1998 ME 92, ¶ 18, 710 A.2d 245, 249.

 

                         Nugent v. Town of Camden, 1998 ME 92, ¶ 18, 710 A.2d 245, 249.


                     law.justia.com/cases/maine/supreme-court/1998/1998-me-92-0.html

SAUFLEY, J.
 [¶18]    "substantive due process analysis focuses on the
rationality of the enactment, that is, on whether the regulation at issue is in the interest of the public welfare and whether the methods used bear a rational relationship to its intended goals."  Daley v. Commissioner, Dept. of Marine Resources, 1997 ME 183, ¶ 7 n.7, 698 A.2d 1053, 1056; see also Rush, 324 A.2d 752-54 (state action does not violate substantive due process where it is rationally related to a legitimate state interest).  Concepts of due process require (1) that the object of the Town's exercise of its police powers be to  provide for the public welfare, (2) that the legislative means employed must be appropriate to achieve the ends sought, and (3) that the manner of exercising the power must not be unduly arbitrary or capricious.  See Danish Health Club v. Town of Kittery, 562 A.2d 663, 665 (Me. 1989);


                                                State v Rush, 324 A.2d 752-54 1974


            http://law.justia.com/cases/maine/supreme-court/1974/324-a-2d-748-0.html

DELAHANTY, Justice.

Although variously expressed, it is established that the requirements of due process exact that the law shall not be unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious and that the state's police power can be properly exercised only when there is a reasonable relationship to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare. West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 37957 S.Ct. 57881 L.Ed. 703(1937); Nebbia v. People, 291 U.S. 50254 S.Ct. 50578 L.Ed. 940 (1934).

The requirements of due process in the exercise of the police power may be analytically separated into three component elements:
1. The object of the exercise must be to provide for the public welfare.
2. The legislative means employed must be appropriate to the achievement of the ends sought.
3. The manner of exercising the power must not be unduly arbitrary or capricious.

 

                       Danish Health Club v. Town of Kittery, 562 A.2d 663, 665 (Me. 1989)

http://law.justia.com/cases/maine/supreme-court/1989/562-a-2d-663-0.html


Justice GLASSMAN wrote: “Under the due process clauses of the federal and state constitutions, a town ordinance must ‘bear a reasonable relationship to the public health, safety, morals or general welfare’ and *665 ‘must not be unreasonable, arbitrary, or discriminatory.’ ”  (citations deleted) We have separated the requirements of due process in the exercise of police power into three component elements:
1. The object of the exercise must be to provide for the public welfare.
2. The legislative means employed must be appropriate to the achievement of the ends sought.
3. The manner of exercising the power must not be unduly arbitrary or capricious.

 

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