A Vermont milk dealer brought suit challenging New York’s state laws regulating milk prices and sales in the state of New York.
States must not violate the Dormant Commerce Clause through its power to tax or its police power.
New York passed a law regulating the minimum prices at which producers could sell milk to dealers. It also prohibited the sale in New York of milk bought outside the state at lower prices. A milk dealer that bought its milk in Vermont at prices lower than the New York minimum refused to agree to the New York law and brought suit challenging it, on the basis that it was an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce.
Does New York’s regulation of milk prices and sales violate the Dormant Commerce Clause?
Yes, New York’s regulation of milk prices and sales is in violation of the Dormant Commerce Clause.
One state in its dealings with another may not place itself in a position of economic isolation. Neither the power to tax nor the police power may be used by the state of destination with the aim and effect of establishing an economic barrier against competition with the products of another state or the labor of its residents. Restrictions of that nature unnecessarily burden interstate commerce.