Leloup v. Port of Mobile - 127 U.S. 640 (1888)
U.S. Supreme Court
Leloup v. Port of Mobile, 127 U.S. 640 (1888)
Leloup v. Port of Mobile
Submitted May 2, 1888
Decided May 14, 1888
127 U.S. 640
ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT
OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA
Where a telegraph company is doing the business of transmitting messages between different states, and has accepted and is acting under the telegraph law passed by Congress July 24th, 1866, no state within which it sees fit to establish an office can impose upon it a license tax or require it to take out a license for the transaction of such business.
Telegraphic communications are commerce, as well as in the nature of postal service, and if carried on between different states, they are interstate commerce, and within the power of regulation conferred upon Congress, free from the control of state regulations except such as are strictly of a police character, and any state regulations by way of tax on the occupation or business, or requiring a license to transact such business, are unconstitutional and void.