City of Philadelphia v. New Jersey

PETITIONER: City of Philadelphia
RESPONDENT: New Jersey
LOCATION: New Jersey State Legislature

DOCKET NO.: 77-404
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: New Jersey Supreme Court

CITATION: 437 US 617 (1978)
ARGUED: Mar 27, 1978
DECIDED: Jun 23, 1978

ADVOCATES:
Herbert F. Moore - Argued the cause for the appellants
Stephen Skillman - Argued the cause for the appellees

Facts of the case

A New Jersey law prohibited the importation of most "solid or liquid waste which originated or was collected outside the territorial limits of the State."

Question

Did New Jersey's waste importation law violate the Commerce Clause?

Media for City of Philadelphia v. New Jersey

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 27, 1978 in City of Philadelphia v. New Jersey

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 23, 1978 in City of Philadelphia v. New Jersey

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the court in the City of Philadelphia against State of New Jersey will be announced by Mr. Justice Stewart.

Potter Stewart:

This case is here by way of direct appeal from the Supreme Court of New Jersey, Mr. Justice Brennan's old court.

A New Jersey law prohibits the importation of solid or liquid waste which originated or was collected outside the territorial limits of the state.

The issue in this case is whether this statutory prohibition is valid under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

For the reasons discussed in the written opinion of the court filed this morning with the clerk, we hold that this state law is impermissible under the Commerce Clause and accordingly we reverse the judgment of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Mr Justice Rehnquist has filed a dissenting opinion which the Chief Justice has joined.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Stewart.