MVMB v. Gray - Appellant's Reply Brief

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U.S. And Missouri Courts Have Always Acknowledged That Government’s Ability To Restrict Constitutional Rights Via The Police Power Is Limited. From this nation’s earliest days the United States Supreme Court made clear that

courts have “a solemn duty” to safeguard citizens’ constitutional liberties against government intrusion. “That the people have an original right to establish, for their future government, such principles as, in their opinion, shall most conduce to their own happiness, is the basis on which the whole American fabric has been erected.” Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 176 (1803). If a constitutional provision may be disregarded at the whim of the legislature “then written constitutions are absurd attempts, on the part of the people, to limit a power, in its own nature illimitable.” Id. at 177. The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the notion that constitutional rights may be so easily set aside, holding that if “a statute purporting to have been enacted to protect the public health, the public morals, or the public safety, [has] no real or substantial relation to those objects, or is a palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the duty of the courts to so adjudge, and thereby give effect to the Constitution.” Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 661 (1887). Missouri courts have long followed this rule. The Missouri Supreme Court has held that although the Government may curtail individual liberty where necessary for true exercises of the police power, that power is and must be limited if the Constitution is to -5-