Ohio ex rel. Eaton v. Price

PETITIONER: Ohio ex rel. Eaton
LOCATION: Dry Docks at Reed, WV

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)

CITATION: 364 US 263 (1960)
ARGUED: Apr 19, 1960
DECIDED: Jun 27, 1960

Facts of the case


Media for Ohio ex rel. Eaton v. Price

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 19, 1960 (Part 2) in Ohio ex rel. Eaton v. Price

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 19, 1960 (Part 1) in Ohio ex rel. Eaton v. Price

Earl Warren:

-- Ohio in the relation of Eaton, Appellant, versus Price, Chief of Police.

Mr. Furman.

Greene Chandler Furman:

Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. -- Associate Justices, may it please the Court.

The present case arises on appeal from the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio on an alleged violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

It arose from the alleged violation of a Dayton municipal ordinance for housing inspectors.

It's brought on a writ of habeas corpus.

The man -- and I might say in the beginning that the name Eaton is misleading.

The real appellant is Earl Taylor.

Mr. Eaton was the first of a number of attorneys in this case, and he is no longer our counsel or connected with the case.

So the actual appellant is Mr. Taylor.

The trial court on the writ of habeas corpus was a Court of Common Pleas of Dayton, Ohio.

It granted the writ on constitutional ground.

The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals of Ohio.

I forget the number of it, one sitting there in Dayton, and was reversed by 2-to-1 vote, and that opinion was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

From that point, application of appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of the United States.

In the time that this Court noted probable jurisdiction on June the 8th, 1959, the Court, I believe, acted in an unprecedented manner.

The Court admits it rendered three memorandum opinions.

It was the opinion of four of the justices, that this case was absolutely controlled by the case recently decided in May of Frank versus Maryland.

I'm sure that the Court is familiar with this case, and the Frank versus Maryland case and -- and other cases arising on this type of thing.

That, as I say, is unusual.

It's a little disconcerting because it means I've got to persuade one of you, gentlemen, that you're wrong, and that is -- is something to undertake.

Felix Frankfurter:

Are the rest of us beyond penance?

Greene Chandler Furman:

Yes, sir.

I [Laughs] guess so.

I -- I don't know what the penance would be but I hope at least to get five of you, gentlemen.

That is an absolute minimum necessity and that means that one of the four must change his mind.

Hugo L. Black:

You're not objecting for more, are you?

Greene Chandler Furman:

No, sir.

Felix Frankfurter:


Greene Chandler Furman:

It does have this advantage though as I see it.