Administrative Discretion.

A municipal ordinance that vests in supervisory authorities a naked and arbitrary power to grant or withhold consent to the operation of laundries in wooden buildings, without consideration of the circumstances of individual cases, constitutes a denial of equal protection of the law when consent is withheld from certain persons solely on the basis of nationality.1634 But a city council may reserve to itself the power to make exceptions from a ban on the operation of a dairy within the city,1635 or from building line restrictions.1636 Written permission of the mayor or president of the city council may be required before any person shall move a building on a street.1637 The mayor may be empowered to determine whether an applicant has a good character and reputation and is a suitable person to receive a license for the sale of cigarettes.1638 In a later case,1639 the Court held that the unfettered discretion of river pilots to select their apprentices, which was almost invariably exercised in favor of their relatives and friends, was not a denial of equal protection to persons not selected despite the fact that such apprenticeship was requisite for appointment as a pilot.


Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886). back
Fischer v. St. Louis, 194 U.S. 361 (1904). back
Gorieb v. Fox, 274 U.S. 603 (1927). back
Wilson v. Eureka City, 173 U.S. 32 (1899). back
Gundling v. Chicago, 177 U.S. 183 (1900). back
Kotch v. Board of River Port Pilot Comm’rs, 330 U.S. 552 (1947). back