Brief Fact Summary. A New Jersey law prohibited the importation of solid or liquid waste that originated or was collected from outside of the State. Private landfill operators challenged the constitutionality of the law.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Where a state regulates non-discriminatorily for the achievement of a legitimate local purpose and thereby affects interstate commerce, the state action is constitutional unless the burdens of such regulation on interstate commerce are clearly excessive relative to the putative local benefits of it.
Issue. Did the New Jersey waste importation statute violate the Commerce Clause?
Held. Yes. The judgment of the State Supreme Court is reversed.
Protectionism measures can be unconstitutional for their means as well as their ends.
Whatever the purpose of the statute, it may not be accomplished by discriminating against articles of out-of-state commerce, unless there is some reason, apart from their out-of-state origin, for doing so.
On its face, the statute imposes on out-of -state commerce the full burden of conserving the state’s landfill space.
The statute violates the principle of non-discrimination both on its face and by its effect
This principle that our economic unit is the Nation, which alone has the gamut of powers necessary to control of the economy, has as its corollary that the states are not separable economic units.View Full Point of Law