Washington Law Review


In 1958 the Seattle City Council promulgated Ordinance No. 83784, which regulated the ownership and operation of juke boxes within the city. By the terms of this ordinance, one could own a juke box only upon the acquisition of a "juke box operator's license." Yet the ordinance authorized fewer consents than were already outstanding, and its prospective effect was such as to exclude all but existing licensees from the juke box field. Thus, when L. D. Ragan applied for an "operator's license" his application was denied. Ragan sought a judgment declaring this ordinance unconstitutional, and from an adverse ruling by the trial court, prosecuted an appeal. Ragan v. City of Seattle affords an opportunity to explore the equal protection problems which arise upon a municipal corporation's exercise of regulatory power.

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