Sinnot v. Davenport,
Annotate this Case
63 U.S. 227 (1859)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Sinnot v. Davenport, 63 U.S. 22 How. 227 227 (1859)
Sinnot v. Davenport
63 U.S. (22 How.) 227
A law of the State of Alabama, passed in 1854, requiring the owners of steamboats navigating the waters of the state, before such boat shall leave the port of Mobile, to file a statement in writing, in the office of the Probate Judge of Mobile County setting forth first, the name of the vessel; second, the naive of the owner or owners; third, his or their place or places of residence; fourth, the interest each has in the vessel -- is in conflict with the Act of Congress passed on the 17th of February, 1793, so far as the state law is brought to bear upon a vessel which had taken out a license, and was duly enrolled under the act of Congress for carrying on the coasting trade and plied between New Orleans and the Cities of Montgomery and Wetumpka, in Alabama.
The state law in such a case is therefore unconstitutional and void.
An act of Congress, passed in pursuance of a clear authority under the Constitution, is the supreme law of the land, and any law of a state in conflict with it is inoperative and void.
The facts of the case are stated in the opinion of the Court.