Cooley v. Board of Wardens
Significance, Further Readings
Aaron B. Cooley
Board of Wardens of the Port of Philadelphia
Ship master Aaron B. Cooley protested a port regulation making him pay half the normal fee for a pilot although he did not use one. The regulation, Cooley claimed, was an invasion of the exclusive authority of Congress over foreign and interstate commerce.
Chief Lawyers for Appellant
Chief Lawyers for Appellee
Justices for the Court
John Catron, Benjamin Curtis (writing for the Court), Peter Vivian Daniel, Robert Cooper Grier, Samuel Nelson, Roger Brooke Taney
John McLean, James Moore Wayne (John McKinley did not participate)
Date of Decision
2 March 1852
The Court divided interstate and foreign commerce into two categories for which separate national and local rules could apply. Federal rules would apply to business of a "character to require uniformity of treatment" while "local peculiarities of ports" could be appropriately left to the "legislative discretion of the several states."
- The Passenger Cases, 7 How. 283 (1849).
- Bibb v. Navajo Freight Lines, 359 U.S. 520 (1959).
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