Cooley v. Board of Wardens

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Cooley v. Board of Wardens of the Port of Philadelphia
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued February 9–11, 1852
Decided March 2, 1852
Full case name Cooley v. Board of Wardens of the Port of Philadelphia
Citations 53 U.S. 299 (more)
53 U.S. 299 (1852)
Commerce Power extends to laws related to pilotage. States' laws related to commerce powers can be valid so long as Congress is silent on the matter.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Curtis, joined by Catron, Nelson, Grier, Taney
Concurrence Daniel
Dissent McLean, joined by Wayne
McKinley took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Laws applied
Commerce Clause

Cooley v. Board of Wardens, 53 U.S. 299 (1852),[1] was a case in which the United States Supreme Court held that a Pennsylvania law requiring all ships entering or leaving Philadelphia to hire a local pilot did not violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Those who did not comply with the law had been required to pay a fee. "It is the opinion of a majority of the court that the mere grant to Congress of the power to regulate commerce, did not deprive the States of power to regulate pilots, and that although Congress had legislated on this subject, its legislation manifests an intention, with a single exception, not to regulate this subject, but to leave its regulation to the several states," wrote Justice Curtis for the majority.

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