• Last updated on November 11, 2022

In upholding a state regulation, the Supreme Court declared that the concept of substantive due process had been repudiated.

This case involved a Kansas statute that prohibited anyone except lawyers from engaging in the business of debt adjustment. By a 9-0 vote, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Kansas law. Writing the majority opinion, Justice Hugo L. BlackBlack, Hugo L.;Ferguson v. Skrupa[Ferguson v. Skrupa] took the opportunity to express his strong animosity to the earlier practice of overturning such regulations with the doctrine of substantive due process. Without inquiring whether there was any rational justification for the law, Black declared that it was entirely up to the state legislature to decide on the “wisdom and utility” of economic regulations. Justice John M. Harlan II,Harlan, John M., II;Ferguson v. Skrupa[Ferguson v. Skrupa] concurring in the result, wrote that the law had a rational relation to a constitutionally permissible objective. It was clear that Black and Harlan disagreed about substantive due process, but their differences would become much more pronounced in the landmark case of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965).[case]Griswold v. Connecticut[Griswold v. Connecticut][case]Ferguson v. Skrupa[Ferguson v. Skrupa]Due process, substantiveBusiness, regulation of;Ferguson v. Skrupa[Ferguson v. Skrupa]Due process, substantive

Contract, freedom of

Due process, substantive

Griswold v. Connecticut

West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish

Categories: History