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City of Philadelphia v. New Jersey

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone

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

Dissent. Justice William Rehnquist (J. Rehnquist) stated that the Constitution does not require New Jersey to receive and dispose of solid waste from other States when doing so will inexorably increase the health problems of its citizens.


Discussion. State actions that are “protectionist”ť in nature (i.e., favoring in-state interests at the expense of out-of-state interests) are generally unconstitutional. In this case, the Supreme Court explains that state statutes need not be proven purposefully protectionist in order to be held unconstitutional. A state statute may also be regarded as unconstitutional protectionist legislation if it is only discriminatory on its face.
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