Police Power

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Police Power

Meaning of Police Power

A term used in constitutional law, having a flexible and very wide meaning. The courts have recognized that the term is incapable of any precise or limited definition because of its great dimensions and because it is constantly in the process of evolution and development . See Wessell v timber Lake, 95 Ohio St. 21,116 N.E. 43. Also, Berman v Parker, 348 U.S. 26, 75 S.Ct.98, 99 L.Ed. 27. In a general sense, it is the powers of government existing in the United States as an essential element of their sovereignty, not derived from or under any written constitution or from the legislature. Tha: authority which exists in every sovereign state to pass all laws for the internal regulation and government of the State. Set mutual Loan Co. v Mart ell, 222 U.S. 225. 32 S. Ct. 74,56 L.Ed. 175. The term has also been defined as the power inherent in the State to prescribe , within the limits of the State and federal Constitutions, reasonable regulations necessary to preserve the public order , health, safety and morals. See Doyle v’ board of Barber Examiners, 219 Cal. App.2d504, 33 Cal.Rptr. 349. Also, Frazer v Shelton, 320 III. 253, 150 N.E. 696. The inherent sovereignty which it is the right and duty of the government to exercise, whenever public policy in a broad sense demands, for the benefit of society at large , regulations to guard its morals, safety, health, order or to ensure in any respect, such economic conditions as an advancing complex civilization requires. See Chicago, T. H. & S. R. Co. v Anderson, 182 Ind. 140, 105 N.E. 49.

Police Power Alternative Definition

The general power of government in the administration of its police (g. v.), to preserve and promote the welfare of the public, even at the expense of infringing the private rights of individuals. Cooley, Const. Lim. 704. It is an exception to the right of the citizen to conduct himself and use his property in such manner as he may see fit. It involves a provision and means of enforcing the legal maxim which underlies all law, sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas. The power of the government to impose this restraint is called ‘police power’. Tiedeman, Lim. Police Power, § 1. The police power of a state extends to the protection of the lives, limbs, health, comfort, and quiet of all persons and to the protection of all property within the state, and hence to the making of all regulations promotive of domestic order, morals, health, and safety. 95 U. S. 465.

Related Entries of Police Power in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Police Power in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Police Power in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Police Power in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Police Power in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

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United States Constitutional Meaning of Police Power

The general authority of government to regulate the health, safety, morals, and welfare of the public.


You might be interested in these references tools:

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Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Police Power
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Related topics Police Power in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Police Power is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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https://legaldictionary.lawin.org/police-power/ The URI of Police Power (more about URIs)

Police Power in the United States

Police Power in Connecticut

are nothing more or less than the powers of government inherent in every sovereignty to the extent of its dominions . . . . State v. Coleman, 96 Connecticut (provision) 190, 193, 113 A. 385 (1921).


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Eminent Domain.
  • Further Reading

    Cooley, Thomas M. A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations Which Rest upon the Legislative Power of the States of the American Union. 1871. 2 vols. Boston: Little, Brown, 1927.

    Freund, Ernst. The Police Power: Public Policy and Constitutional Rights. Chicago: Callaghan and Company, 1904.

    Novak, William J. The People’s Welfare: Law and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

    Stephen M.Sheppard

    Eminent Domain; Land-Use Control; States’ Rights.

    Concept of Police Power in the context of Real Property

    A short definition of Police Power: The power of the state which abridges individual rights for the safety, health, and general welfare of society.

    Concept of Police Power in the context of Real Property

    A short definition of Police Power: The power of the state which abridges individual rights for the safety, health, and general welfare of society.







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