Ludwig v. Western Union Telegraph Co. - 216 U.S. 146 (1910)
U.S. Supreme Court
Ludwig v. Western Union Telegraph Co., 216 U.S. 146 (1910)
Ludwig v. Western Union Telegraph Company
Argued April 13, 14, 1909
Decided February 21, 1910
216 U.S. 146
A state statute which requires a foreign corporation engaged in interstate commerce to pay, as a license tax or fee for doing intrastate business, a given amount on its entire capital stock, whether employed within the state or elsewhere, directly burdens the interstate business of such corporation and its property outside the jurisdiction of the taxing state and is unconstitutional and void, and so held as to the Wingo Law of Arkansas of May 13, 1907.
Publication by proclamation by a state officer in his official capacity that a foreign corporation engaged in interstate and local business is not authorized, but is forbidden from continuing, to do local business would produce irreparable injury to such corporation, and, in order to prevent such contemplated or threatened injury, a court of equity may enjoin the state officers from issuing such proclamation if the state statute on which the contemplated action is based is unconstitutional.
An action brought by a corporation against a state officer to obtain such an injunction is not an action against the state within the meaning of the Eleventh Amendment. Western Union Telegraph Company v. Andrews, post, p. 216 U. S. 165.
The facts, which involve the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Wingo Act of Arkansas applicable to foreign corporations, are stated in the opinion.