The opinion of the court was delivered by: T.B. Greneker, Acting Associate Justice.
Plaintiffs complaining of the defendant allege:
1. Plaintiffs are citizens of the United States of America and the State of South Carolina and are officers and members of the South Carolina Naturopathic Association, Inc., a Corporation created under the laws of the State of South Carolina. This action is brought by plaintiffs in their official capacity, and also individually for the benefit of themselves and all members of the Association and all duly licensees who are practicing in the State under a duly issued and lawful license. Membership in the Association is confined solely and exclusively to regularly licensed Naturopathic Practitioners in South Carolina. Doctors M.S. Dantzler and J.B. Branyon and W.T. Bidwell are the Board of Examiners. All of the plaintiffs as individuals have been naturopathic physicians under the law of South Carolina since 1937. All of the licensed Naturopathic Physicians in south Carolina, except the last ten licensees, were admitted to practice in compliance with the law prior to June, 1946. The last ten practitioners were admitted under the amended Naturopathy Act of 1949, which greatly increased the education and professional qualification of applicants.
"An Act To Repeal Sections 56-901 Through 56-919, Code Of Laws Of South Carolina, 1952, Relating To The Practice of Naturopathy; To Make It Unlawful For Certain Persons To Practice Naturopathy In This State; And To Provide Penalties For Violating The Provisions Of This Act."
The body of the Act reads as follows:
"Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
"Section 1. Sections 56-901 through 56-919, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1952, are hereby repealed.
"Section 2. It shall be unlawful for any person whether heretofore licensed or not under the laws of this or any other state to practice naturopathy in this State; Provided, however, that any person now authorized to practice naturopathy in South Carolina who is a graduate of an accredited college for pre-medical training and who has, in addition thereto, graduated from a medical college recognized at the time of his graduation by the state in which it was located, and who has heretofore for a period in excess of five years engaged in the practice of medicine in the State of South Carolina under the supervision of a licensed medical doctor by special request or by special permission of the State Board of Medical Examiners, or agents thereof, shall be examined by the State Board of Medical Examiners on the same basis as other applicants to the Board are examined, and upon the making of a passing grade on this examination, shall be licensed to practice medicine in this State.
"Section 4. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
"Section 5. This act shall take effect upon its approval by the Governor. [In the Senate House the 23rd day of February In the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifty-six.]
3. Plaintiffs allege that the act in question is in violation of their rights as citizens of the United States of America and of South Carolina as provided in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution in that it deprives the plaintiffs of their property and property rights without due process of law, and denies them of the equal protection of the laws and is arbitrary and discriminatory in that it singles out naturopathy, one of a number of special practitioners in the art of healing and abolishes their profession only.
4. Plaintiffs further allege that the Act in question violates the following provisions of the Constitution of the State of South Carolina: Article 1, Section 5; Article 1, Section 17, and Section 17, Article 3 in that said Act deprives plaintiffs of their property and property rights without due process of law and denies them of the equal protection of the laws and is arbitrary and discriminatory in that it singles out naturopathy, one of a number of special practitioners in the art of healing and abolishes their profession only. With reference to Section 17, Article 3 of the Constitution of South Carolina of 1895 plaintiffs allege that the Act violates this Section in that it relates to more than one subject which is not expressed in the title. The proviso in the Act deals with a specific provision for the licensing of medical doctors, which in no way has any connection with the title of the Act and such proviso discriminates within the Naturopathic Practitioners.
"`Naturopathy' is hereby defined to mean the use and practice of phychological, mechanical and material health sciences to aid in purifying, cleaning and normalizing human tissues for preservation or restoration of health according to the fundamental principles of anatomy, physiology and applied psychology, as may be required. Naturopathic practice employs, among other agencies, heat, light, water, electricity, psychology, diet, massage and other manipulative methods."
Naturopathy has been recognized by the Legislative Law of South Carolina since the Medical Practice Act of March 10, 1920, and to do the things permitted under the Act of necessity requires the use of equipment for the employment of such agencies as heat, light, water, electricity, psychology, diet, massage and other manipulative methods and all of the plaintiffs and those whom they represent have spent large amounts of money, more or less, in the purchase of necessary equipment, which they use in the practice of their profession.
6. Plaintiffs recognize the right of the Legislature to regulate their profession by the passage of any regulatory methods within the constitutional limits. Plaintiffs allege, however, that the above entitled Act destroys their profession and means of livelihood and would make acts which are perfectly lawful to become criminal acts subject to punishment by the court upon conviction. The Act in question is prohibitory and not regulatory in a field of Medical practice and/or art of healing that could be and can be properly regulated.
Wherefore, plaintiffs pray for relief as follows:
(1) A judgment of this Court declaring the aforesaid Act to be unconstitutional and therefore null and void;
(2) For a judgment by the Court declaring the rights of the plaintiffs and to order and command the Attorney General and all law enforcement officers in the State of South Carolina not to in any manner interfere with the plaintiffs in the practice of their lawful profession;
(3) For such other and further relief as the plaintiffs may be entitled to under the circumstances of this case.
The Defendant, T.C. Callison, Attorney General of the State of South Carolina, answering the Complaint herein, ...