There's a story going around, "Top Ten Weird Marriage Laws" or somesuch, and my browsing around after that discovered a weird law in Georgia supposedly requires every able-bodied male between 16 and 50 years of age to work on the public roads. I tried to find the source of that and couldn't. But I did find a Florida case. Anyone know of the Georgia basis?
Butler v. Perry, 240 U.S. 328In view of ancient usage and the unanimity of judicial opinion, it must be taken as settled that, unless restrained by some constitutional limitation, a state has inherent power to require every able-bodied man within its jurisdiction to labor for a reasonable time on public roads near his residence without direct compensation. This is a part of the duty which he owes to the public.
There is no merit in the claim that a man's labor is property, the taking of which without compensation by the state for building and maintenance of public roads violates the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.... Conceding for some purposes, labor must be considered as property, it is evident from what already has been said that to require work on the public roads has never been regarded as a deprivation of either liberty or property.
The circumstances of present case indicate no failure to observe due process of law in the exercise of the state's undoubted power.