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Gibbons v. Ogden

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 U.S. 1, 9 Wheat. 1, 6 L. Ed. 23 (1824)

Brief Fact Summary. After someone was given an exclusive ferry operations license by a state, a competitor challenged the license as a violation of the Commerce Clause.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Commerce that is connected to more than one state is within the reach of Congress’s commerce power.


Facts. The Defendant Ogden (Defendant) ran a steamboat service in New York with an exclusive license granted by the state. The Plaintiff Gibbons (Plaintiff) had a similar license granted by Congress. Plaintiff began competing with the Defendant. The Defendant received an injunction to stop Plaintiff’s steamboat service. The Plaintiff appealed.

Issue. May a state adopt legislation regarding interstate commerce that conflicts with the Commerce Clause?

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