Constitutional Law – Freedom of Religion – Fluoridation of City Water

In its proprietary capacity the City of Bend maintains and operates a water system with the exclusive right to supply water to its inhabitants. In February 1952 the mayor and city commissioners adopted an ordinance providing for the introduction of fluorine into the water supply to reduce dental caries in the teeth of young children. The plaintiff as a resident and taxpayer brought suit to enjoin such action. A demurrer to his complaint was sustained. On appeal, held, affirmed. A city, in the exercise of its police power, may enact reasonable regulations for the protection of the public health, safety. and welfare notwithstanding a conflict with the free exercise of religion of some of its citizens. Baer v. City of Bend, (Ore. 1956) 292 P. (2d) 134.