Crandall v. State of Nevada
73 U.S. 35

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U.S. Supreme Court

Crandall v. State of Nevada, 73 U.S. 6 Wall. 35 35 (1867)

Crandall v. State of Nevada

73 U.S. (6 Wall.) 35


1. A special tax on railroad and stage companies for every passenger carried out of the state by them is a tax on the passenger for the privilege of passing through the state by the ordinary modes of travel, and is not a simple tax on the business of the companies.

2. Such a tax imposed by a state is not in conflict with that provision of the federal Constitution which forbids a state to lay a duty on exports.

3. The power granted to Congress to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the states includes subjects of legislation which are necessarily of a national character, and therefore exclusively within the control of Congress.

4. But it also includes matters of a character merely local in their operation, as the regulation of port pilots, the authorization of bridges over navigable streams, and perhaps others, and upon this class of subjects the state may legislate in the absence of any such legislation by Congress.

5. If the tax on passengers when carried out of the state be called a regulation of commerce, it belongs to the latter class, and there being no legislation of Congress on the same subject, the statute will not be void as a regulation of commerce.

6. The United States has a right to require the service of its citizens at the seat of federal government, in all executive, legislative, and judicial departments and at all the points in the several states where the functions of government are to be performed.

Page 73 U. S. 36

7. By virtue of its power to make war and to suppress insurrection, the government has a right to transport troops through all parts of the Union by the usual and most expeditious modes of transportation.

8. The citizens o

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Primary Holding

Since all citizens have the right to move around freely, a state cannot impose taxes that interfere with their ability to leave.