RESPONDENT: Mayor and Council of the City of Camden
LOCATION: Clifford Residence
DOCKET NO.: 81-2110
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: New Jersey Supreme Court
CITATION: 465 US 208 (1984)
ARGUED: Nov 28, 1983
DECIDED: Feb 21, 1984
N. Thomas Foster - on behalf of the Appellees
Steven K. Kudatzky - on behalf of the Appellant
Facts of the case
Media for Building Trades & Construction Trades Council of Camden County and Vicinity v. Mayor and Council of the City of CamdenAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 28, 1983 in Building Trades & Construction Trades Council of Camden County and Vicinity v. Mayor and Council of the City of Camden
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 21, 1984 in Building Trades & Construction Trades Council of Camden County and Vicinity v. Mayor and Council of the City of Camden
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment and opinion of the Court in United Building & Construction Trades against the Mayor and Council of Camden will be announced by Justice Rehnquist.
William H. Rehnquist:
The city of Camden, New Jersey, a couple of years ago passed a law requiring that at least 40% of the employees of contractors and subcontractors who work on construction projects that were funded in whole or in part by the city money be residents of the City of Camden.
The stated purpose of the law was to counteract widespread unemployment in urban decay in the City of Camden.
An association of labor organizations representing employees in the building and construction trades who live outside of the State of New Jersey challenged Camden's resident hiring preferences as a violation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause of United States Constitution.
That Section which is an Article IV provides that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the Privileges and Immunities Citizens in the several States.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey rejected this challenge on the grounds that since New Jersey citizens living outside Camden are as much affected by the law is the citizens of other States.
Therefore, the Privileges and Immunities Clause didn't apply to the Camden ordinance.
We conclude that Camden's ordinance is not immune from examination under the Privileges and Immunities Clause at the behest of out-of-state residents merely because some in-state residents are similarly disadvantaged.
To read into the Clause of blanket exemption for all classifications that are less than statewide would provide States with two simple means for evading its strictures.
In an opinion filed today with the clerk, we therefore reverse the judgment of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
On remand, the City of Camden will have an opportunity to prevent evidence and support of its ordinance under the traditional constitutional standard.
Justice Blackmun has filed a dissenting opinion.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Justice Rehnquist.