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Philadelphia v. New Jersey

Significance, Landfills


City of Philadelphia


State of New Jersey

Appellant's Claim

That a New Jersey law prohibiting disposal of liquid or solid waste within its borders, which "originated or was collected outside the state," violated the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Herbert F. Moore

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Steven Skillman

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart (writing for the Court), Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Warren E. Burger, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

27 January 1978


The New Jersey legislature discriminated against other states under the Commerce Clause by banning disposal of waste from Philadelphia in the Garden State.

Related Cases

  • Cooley v. The Board of Wardens, 53 U.S. 299 (1891).
  • Dutchess Sanitation, Inc. v. Town of Plattekill, 433 F.Supp. 580 (1977).


American City and County, Vol. 109, no. 8, July, 1992, p. 38.

Further Readings

  • Bickel, Alexander, and Benno Schmidt. History of the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Macmillan, 1984.
  • Cox, Archibald. The Court and the Constitution. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1987.
  • Rehnquist, William H. The Supreme Court, How It Was, How It Is. New York: William Morrow & Co., Inc., 1987.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980