Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiffs, Toomer and other out-of-state commercial fisherman (Plaintiff), challenged a South Carolina Law that imposed higher license fees to out-of-state boats based than in state boats. The Plaintiffs based their challenge on the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution).
Synopsis of Rule of Law. If a State violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities Clause, the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) must determine whether the law discriminates against citizens of other states and if so, whether there is a substantial reason for the discrimination beyond the mere fact that they are citizens of another state.
Issue. Does a state law that discriminates against out of state fishermen violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities Clause where its purpose is to conserve natural resources, but its effect creates a monopoly for residents of the state?
Held. Yes, the purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities Clause was to help fuse the Nation, to ensure that people enjoy the same rights in each state. Therefore, the Privileges and Immunities Clause invalidates South Carolina’s license fee law.
The inquiry must also, of course, be conducted with due regard for the principle that the States should have considerable leeway in analyzing local evils and in prescribing appropriate cures.View Full Point of Law