Legislatures have wide discretion in regulating “im-moral” activities. Thus, legislation suppressing prostitution370 or gambling371 will be upheld by the Court as within the police power of a state. Accordingly, a state statute may provide that judgment against a party to recover illegal gambling winnings may be enforced by a lien on the property of the owner of the building where the gambling transaction was conducted when the owner knowingly consented to the gambling.372 Similarly, a court may order a car used in an act of prostitution forfeited as a public nuisance, even if this works a deprivation on an innocent joint owner of the car.373 For the same reason, lotteries, including those operated under a legislative grant, may be forbidden, regardless of any particular equities.374


L’Hote v. New Orleans, 177 U.S. 587 (1900). back
Ah Sin v. Wittman, 198 U.S. 500 (1905). back
Marvin v. Trout, 199 U.S. 212 (1905). back
Bennis v. Michigan, 516 U.S. 442 (1996). back
Stone v. Mississippi, 101 U.S. 814 (1880); Douglas v. Kentucky, 168 U.S. 488 (1897). back