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would be peculiarly liable to ontrage or injury in consequence. The reasonableness of such regulations is the concern of legislation, and they may be legal, even when on the score of policy or justice there seems to be abundant ground to question the propriety of the distinctions. The common law did not allow the
married woman to make contracts on her own behalf. [*36] The general conviction now is that the *reasons were in
sufficient; but while they were accepted and acted upon, the most that one could say would be that this class of persons ought to have the right, but did not. However unfairly any particular discrimination might operate, it will readily be admitted that to give exactly the same rights to all classes under all circumstances would work injustice rather than equality. The case of the infant is perhaps the best illustration here; to give him the same control and management of his property which the law allows to others would only be taking from him a rule of protection which he needs, but which is not needed by others. The infant is undoubtedly entitled to equal consideration in the law with all others; but equality of civil rights, in a general sense, can only mean equality under impartial regulations; and these regulations cannot be reasonable or just unless in some cases they recognize or establish important distinctions.
The right to acquire, own and enjoy property may be said to be of universal recognition in government. And this includes the right to select and follow any lawful employment, with a view to the acquisition of property, subject only to reasonable and impartial regulations. The infant has this right of acquisition equally with the adult, and the insane equally with all others. There may be restrictions on control and management of property for the general good, or for the good of the owner, but these guard the right; they are not properly an abridgement of it. Instances of this are found in the requirement of the statute of frauds, that certain contracts and sales shall not be made unless by writing duly signed; the purpose here is not to preclude any proper contracts or sales, but to establish such precantions. as will prevent the setting up of contracts and sales which were never made, and establishing them on mistaken or false testimony.
Political Rights. The privilege of participation in the government is conferred as an act of sovereignty on those whose par
ticipation is supposed to be most beneficial to the State. Being a privilege, no one is supposed to be injured when it is not conferred upon him. The rules of admission will be established by the State on a consideration of the general good.' The privi*lege is not conferred on the very young, and it is some- [*37) times withheld from the ignorant. It is also sometimes made to depend on the possession of property. A defense of such a discrimination is made by some on the ground that one of the chief objects of government is to render it possible to own and enjoy property, and if suffrage were universal, this purpose might be defeated by the government passing into the hands of those who, having no property of their own, may be disposed to despoil others. It may also be said that those onght to control the government whose contributions support it, and that these are the property owners.
Still, again, it may be said that the owner of property is prima facie better qualified to take part in the government than he who has nothing, because prima facie he has exhibited more prudence, thrift and judginent than the other. These theories do not concern as now. When the political privilege is conferred as an act of sovereign power, it becomes for the time being a legal right; a right which others must not disturb, which is capable of being defended, and which may even, for the purposes of legal defense, be considered as having a money value to the possessor. The deprivation thereof may consequently be compensated by a recovery of damages. But a like act of sovereignty to that which confers a political right may take it away. There cannot be, either in the elective franchise or in a public office any vested right as against the sovereignty, except so far as, in forming the constitution of government, it has been agreed that there should be.
Some political privileges are the right of every person, whether an elector or not. Such is the privilege of meeting and discussing public affairs with others. Such, also, are the privileges of petition and remonstrance. Every person under the jurisdiction of the laws has the right to petition for or remonstrate against a change therein, and also to address any official person or body upon any subject which concerns hiin as an individual, or the public of
Midor o. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162; State o. Staten, 6 Cold. 233; Spencer o. Spragins o. Houghton, 3 III. 377, 396; B'd.of Registration, 1 McArthur, 169.
which he is a member, and over which such official person or board is vested with authority. Precautions are taken to guard this right by constitutional provisions, but they cannot be very effectual, because they are easily evaded. The caucus often in advance decides that the petition or remonstrance shall have no
influence, and its reception then becomes an idle ceremony. [*38] *Family Rights. The following may be mentioned as
rights in the family relation : 1. The right of the husband to the society and services of the wife. It is often, and very justly, spoken of as a reproach
. to the common law, that it recognized in the wife no correspond. ing right to the society and services of her husband. Theoreti. cally, the duty was imposed upon him to comfort and cherish, but the duty was one of imperfect obligation, because no remedy whatever was provided for failure to observe it.'
Some few of the States have provided a remedy for this defect in a single class of cases; that is to say, cases in which the loss to the wife is occasioned by selling or giving to the husband intoxicating drinks. In these cases she is permitted to bring suit against the party who, by furnishing the means of intoxication, has been the cause of the loss, and she is allowed to recover substantial damages, where substantial loss has been suffered.
2. The right of the wife to a reasonable support, to be furnished by her husband.' This, also, at the common law
12 Kent, 182; Reeve Dom. Rel. 110. The subject will be discussed in a subsequent chapter.
2 Where husband and wife are liv. ing together and he makes her an allowance sufficient for her clothes and has forbidden her to pledge his credit, he is not liable as for neces. saries to a tradesman who has sold her clothing without any notice of the prohibition by the husband, the tradesman having had no reason from prior dealing to suppose that the wife had authority to pledge the husband's credit. Debenham v. Mellon, L. R. 5 Q. B. D. 394; L. R. 6 App. Cas. 24; see Compton o. Bates, 10 IN. App. 78. When a wife leaves the husband's house because of his cruelty or neg.
lect, or with his express or implied consent, the husband is liable to any. one furnishing her with necessaries. Billings o. Pitcher, 7 B. Mon. 458; Mahew o. Thayer, 8 Gray, 172; Emmett o. Norton, 8 C. & P. 505; Dixon 0. Hurrell, 8 C. & P. 717; Rawley 0. Vandyke, 3 Esp. 251; Hodges o. Hodges, 1 Esp. 441; Burlen o. Shannon, 14 Gray, 433; Cartwright o. Bate, 1 Allen, 514; Hultzo. Gibbs, 66 Penn. St. 360; Biddle o. Frazier, 3 Houst. 258; Allen 0, Aldrich,9 Foster,(N. H.) 63; Pidgin 0. Cram, 8 N. H. 350; Trotter v. Trotter, 77 III. 510; Lock. wood o. Thomas, 12 Johps. 248; Teb betts v. Hapgood, 34 N. H. 420; Walker v. Simpson, 7 Watts & S. 83; Parke o. Kleeber, 37 Penn. 251; $no
was a *right of imperfect obligation, not only because the [*39) remedies for compelling its observance by the busband were inadequate, but because not protected in any way against abridgement or defeat at the hands of other parties.
3. The right of the parent to the custody and services of his child,' which is qualified by such regulations as the State may
ver e. Blair, 25 N. J. 94; Pearson 0, 569; Bevier o. Galloway, 71 NI. 517. Darrington, 32 Ala. 227: Reese o. Mere separation is not enough. The Chilton, 36 Mo. 598; Clement o. Mat- wife must appear to be without fault. tison,3 Rich. (S.C.) 93: Black o. Bryan, Lippincott's Est., 12 Phila. 142. 18 Texas, 453; Eiler o. Crull, 99 Ind. Where husband and wife separate 375; in spite of his giving notice to by mutual consent, and the husband the contrary, Watkins o. De Armond, makes a contract with a third person 89 Ind. 553. So, too, if he deserts to maintain the wife, if the wife leave his wife and family, he is liable for such third person voluntarily, and their necessaries. Hall 0. Wier, 1 Al- without just cause, she will not carry len, 261; Walker 0. Laighton, 31 N. with her authority to pledge her H. 111, and notices, special or gen- husband's credit for her support. eral, that he will not be bound will Pidgin o. Cram, 8 N. H. 350. not avail him. Pierpont o. Wilson, The husband has a right to change 49 Conn. 450. If, by his cruelty, he bis domicil, and it is the wife's duty compels his wife to leave him, and to accompany him, and if she refuses, she dies while away, he is liable for he is not liable for her support and the reasonable expense of her funeral, maintenance. Babbitt o. Babbitt, 69 without notice of her death. Cun. Ill. 277. Husband not liable under ningbam o. Reardon, 98 Mass. 539; penal statute for failure to support, if Ambrose o. Kerrison, 10 C. B. 776; wife refuses his offer of support at Bradshaw o. Beard, 12 C. B.(n. 8.), his father's house because of her dig. 344. When goods are furnished against like to his parents. People o. Pettit, the husband's express orders to his 74 N. Y. 320. Where by statutes wife living apart from him, he can be married women may be liable on their held only if the circumstances give contracts, if goods are bought for her implied authority to bind him for ordinary domestic use the legal imnecessaries. Benjamin o. Dockham, plication is that the husband is liable. 132 Mass, 181. He is not liable if Wilson o. Herbert, 41 N. J. L. 454; she leaves without sufficient cause. Chester o. Pierce, 33 Minn. 370. So Hartmann o. Tegart, 12 Kan. 177; Oin. if domestic servants are hired. Wag. son o. Heritage, 45 Ind. 73; $. C. 15 ner o. Nagel, 33 Minn. 348; Flynn o. Am. Rep. 258; Allen o. Aldrich, 29 N. Messenger, 28 Minn. 208. See further H. 63; Brown o. Mudgett, 40 Vt. 68; on wife's liability for household necesSturtevant o. Starin, 19 Wis. 268; Mc- saries. McQuillen o. Singer Mnfg. Cutchen o. McGahay, 11 Johos. 281; Co. 99 Pa. St. 586; Cook v. Ligon, 54 Rutherford D. Coxe, 11 Mo. 347; Miss. 368. Brown o. Patton, 3 Humph. 135; Porter 0. Bobb, 25 Mo. 36; Evans 0. "The right of the parent to the ser. Fisher, 10 I11, 569; Williams o. Prince, vices of his child may be lost by 8 Strobh. 490; Ross o. Ross, 69 Ill. emancipating him. In brief, the
establish for his benefit and protection, and for the care and preBervation of any property of which he may be possessed. One universal regulation is, that the right shall cease at a certain age; at twenty-one, or perhaps, in the case of females, at eighteen. Others which are sometimes established are, that very young children shall not be employed in mines, collieries, or factories, and that for a certain portion of the year they shall be placed in schools.
4. The obligation of the parent to support the child, when from immaturity or other cause he is unable to support himself, can hardly be said to confer upon the child a right to such support, because the law provides no means of enforcing the parental obligation for his benefit. The common law in this regard left the interests and protection of the child to what must often prove
the imperfect guardianship of the State. In other words, (*40) it imposed *the obligation on the parent as a duty to the
State, and not as a duty to the child. There are other rights to which, in customary but somewhat loose language, it is said the child is entitled : such as the right to protection against injuries and against the unlawful action of others, the right to culture and education, the right to share in the parent's estate.
These are sometimes spoken of as natural rights, and the parent is said to be under an obligation to recognize them. But, as in
methods in which emancipation may 0. Wheeler, 29 Vt. 514; Bell o. Bumtake place are the following:
pus, 29 N. W. Rep. 862 (Mich.) That 1. By a formal agreement between no formal emancipation is necessary, the father and cbild to that effect. see Sword o. Keith, 31 Mich. 247; Morse v. Welton, 6 Conn. 547; At- Schoenberg 0. Voigt, 36 Mich. 310 wood o. Holcomb, 39 Conn. 270; Wol. A child may be emancipated and still cott o. Rickey, 22 Iowa, 172; Mason live at home. Donegan v. Davis, 66 o. Hutchins, 32 Vt. 780; Hall v. Hall, Ala. 362. There may be complete 44 N. H. 293. 2. By the father re- emancipation by relinquishing the fusing to care and provide for the control of the child to another child. Nightingale v. Withington, although the latter has not completed 15 Mass. 272; Atwood v. Holcomb, a statutory adoption. West Gardiner 39 Conn. 270. 3. By the father suffer- 0. Manchester, 72 Me. 509. The coning the child to depart and act for sent of a parent to a child's receiving himself, and employ his own services his wages is a license revocable at the at his option. Johnson v. Terry, 34 will of the parent as between him and Conn. 259; Everett o. Sherfey, 1 Iowa, the child. Soldanels v. Missouri, etc., 356; Whiting o. Earl, 3 Pick. 201; Ry. Co., 23 Mo. App. 516. Wodell o. Coggeshall, 2 Met. $9; Bray