Missouri Constitution

Article I
BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 2

August 28, 2013



Promotion of general welfare--natural rights of persons--equality under the law--purpose of government.

Section 2. That all constitutional government is intended to promote the general welfare of the people; that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry; that all persons are created equal and are entitled to equal rights and opportunity under the law; that to give security to these things is the principal office of government, and that when government does not confer this security, it fails in its chief design.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. II, 4.

(1952) Equal protection provision does not require change of venue or right to disqualify judge in a criminal contempt case. Osborne v. Purdome (Mo.), 250 S.W.2d 159.

(1955) Section 556.285 which makes person convicted more than three times of larceny guilty of grand larceny on conviction of a subsequent larceny held valid against challenger based on the due process, equal protection and ex post facto provisions of the constitution. State v. King (Mo.), 275 S.W.2d 310.

(1960) Act providing for the licensing of persons engaging in the business of selling checks, drafts and money orders but excluding persons the major portion of whose business consisted of sale of merchandise, held to be arbitrary and a special law and therefore void under the federal and state constitutional provisions. Petit v. Field (Mo.), 341 S.W.2d 106.

(1962) Act prohibiting discriminatory practices in the sale of milk and prohibiting its sale at less than cost held not violative of the equal rights and due process provisions of the constitution. Borden Company v. Thomason (Mo.), 353 S.W.2d 735.

(1962) Statute dividing state into congressional districts upheld against charge that because of the unequal apportionment the influence of individual's vote was not equal to that of voters in other districts, thus depriving him of equal protection of laws. Preisler v. Hearnes (Mo.), 362 S.W.2d 552.

(1964) Sunday sales law upheld against charge that it was unconstitutional as being a special law, containing unreasonable, arbitrary and discriminatory classifications in violation of plaintiff's right to equal rights and opportunities under the law; and depriving plaintiffs of liberty and property without due process of law. GEM Stores Inc. v. O'Brien (Mo.), 374 S.W.2d 109.

(1964) Where taxable property lying within the boundaries of a county library district was incorporated by annexation into the boundaries of a city which had a tax supported free public library, held that the property was subject to the taxing power of both districts and such interpretation did not violate Article X, 3, and Article I, 2, 10, 26 and 28 of Missouri Constitution, St. Louis County Library District v. Hopkins (Mo.), 375 S.W.2d 71.

(1964) Picketing of funeral home which was in part for the purpose of preventing owners from personally doing any embalming in their own business was for an unlawful purpose. Baue v. Embalmers Federal Labor Union No. 21301 (Mo.), 376 S.W.2d 230.

(1964) Validity of city ordinance requiring licensing of television and radio servicemen upheld against charges that it violated due process and equal protection clauses of state and federal constitutions and the "special law" prohibition of the state constitution. McClellan v. Kansas City (Mo.), 379 S.W.2d 500.

(1964) Failure to furnish defendant in prosecution for first degree robbery with free depositions was not a violation of his constitutional rights. State v. Aubuchon (Mo.), 381 S.W.2d 807.

(1974) Held that classification of marijuana with more dangerous drugs is not violative of equal protection or due process. State v. Burrow (Mo.), 514 S.W.2d 585.

(1978) Provision that all persons shall have "the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry" does not prohibit inclusion of compulsory union membership provision in collective bargaining agreement. Independent Stave Company v. Higdon (Mo.), 572 S.W.2d 424.

(1990) Where retirement benefits from private nongovernmental employment were subject to income tax and retirement benefits from governmental employment was exempt, tax scheme did not violate principles of equal protection; the legislature's classification of governmental and nongovernmental employees' retirement benefits has a rational basis. Schnorbus v. Director of Revenue, 790 S.W.2d 241 (Mo. banc).

(1994) Section 36.150, RSMo, does not violate constitution, where state had legitimate interest in maintaining public confidence in impartial civil service by prohibiting merit employees from being candidates for any partisan political office. Asher v. Lombardi, 877 S.W.2d 628 (Mo. banc).


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