In Wynehamer v. People, 13 N.Y. 378 (1856), the New York Court of Appeals relied expressly on the state due process clause in invalidating a liquor prohibition statute that prohibited the use or possession even of liquor owned prior to the enactment of the statute. The New York court explained that, when “a law annihilates the value of property, [the] owner is deprived of it [within] the spirit of a constitutional provision intended expressly to shield private rights from the exercise of arbitrary power.”
One hundred and fifty one years later in China, city governments are still making regulations prohibiting city residents to own certain type of dogs, based not on breed but on the mere size of the dogs. Once the regulations are passed, any dog falling under the target of the regulations will be terminated, regardless if the owner had the dog before or after the enactment of the regulations. And there is no sign that this cruel and utterly idiotic “rule of law” is going to end any time soon.
China might argue, buy, or force its image into the 21st century by showing its pitiful skyscrapers. However, its civil liberty has not reached mid 19th century yet.