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Interpretation Of The Fourteenth Amendment Is Broadened


Concerned about increasing state regulation, corporations seek to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Slaughterhouse Cases. Former U.S. Senator Roscoe Conkling, who had been one of the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment, argues in San Mateo County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company that the Amendment’s phrase “any person” also applies to a corporation. Therefore, the county’s efforts at regulation violate the railroad’s right to “substantive due process.” The Court accepts this line of reasoning, frustrating state and federal governments’ efforts to regulate business practices for the next half century.