Morgan v. Virginia
328 U.S. 373 (1946)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Morgan v. Virginia, 328 U.S. 373 (1946)

Morgan v. Virginia

No. 704

Argued March 27, 1946

Decided June 3, 1946

328 U.S. 373

Syllabus

1. Provisions of the Virginia Code, 1942, §§ 4097z to 4097dd, which require the separation of white and colored passengers on both interstate and intrastate motor carriers are invalid as applied to interstate passengers in vehicles moving interstate, because they burden interstate commerce contrary to Art. I, § 8, cl. 3 of the Constitution of the United States, even though Congress has enacted no legislation on the subject. Pp. 328 U. S. 374, 328 U. S. 380, 328 U. S. 386.

2. If a state statute unlawfully burdens interstate commerce, the powers reserved to the State by the Tenth Amendment will not validate it. P. 328 U. S. 376.

3. An interstate passenger, charged in a criminal proceeding with violation of the statute, is a proper person to challenge its validity as a burden on interstate commerce. P. 328 U. S. 376.

4. State legislation is invalid if it unduly burdens interstate commerce where uniformity is necessary in the constitutional sense of useful in accomplishing a permitted purpose. Pp. 328 U. S. 377, 328 U. S. 380.

5. A State cannot impose undue burdens on interstate commerce by simply invoking the convenient apologetics of the police power. P. 380.

6. Seating arrangements for the different races in interstate motor travel require a single uniform rule to promote and protect national travel. P. 328 U. S. 386.

184 Va. 24, 34 S.E.2d 491, reversed.

Appellant, an interstate passenger, was convicted of a violation of Virginia Code, 1942, § 4097dd, relating to the segregation of white and colored passengers on motor buses. The Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia affirmed. 184 Va. 24, 34 S.E.2d 491. On appeal to this Court, reversed, p. 328 U. S. 386.

Page 328 U. S. 374

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Primary Holding

Segregating riders by race on interstate buses violates the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution, although the Court did not address whether it violated the Fourteenth Amendment as well.