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Opinion of the Court.

the power to establish and regulate ferries; Congress never. We have sought in vain for any act of Congress which involves the exercise of this power.-That the authority lies within the scope of that 'immense mass' of undelegated powers which 'are reserved to the States respectively,' we think too clear to admit of doubt." These cases were cited with approval in Wiggins Ferry Co. v. East St. Louis, supra. There, the ferry company was an Illinois corporation and held a franchise granted by the legislature of that State for the operation of a ferry from East St. Louis, Illinois, to St. Louis, Missouri. The payment of a license tax imposed upon the company in Illinois, for the privilege of conducting the ferry, was resisted under the commerce clause, but the contention was overruled, the court holding that "the levying of a tax upon vessels or other water-craft or the exaction of a license fee by the State within which the property subject to the exaction has its situs, is not a regulation of commerce within the meaning of the Constitution." (Id. p. 373.)

It is manifest, however, that the transportation of persons and property from one State to another is none the less interstate commerce because conducted by ferry; and it is not open to question that ferries maintained for that purpose are subject to the regulating power of Congress. It necessarily follows that whatever may properly be regarded as a direct burden upon interstate commerce, as conducted by ferries operating between States, it is beyond the competency of the States to impose. This was definitely decided in Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 114 U. S. 196. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had imposed a tax upon the ferry company, based upon the estimated value of its capital stock, upon the ground that it was doing business within the State. The company was incorporated in New Jersey and maintained a ferry from Gloucester in that State to Philadelphia. Save for the wharf that it leased at the latter place, its

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Opinion of the Court.

property, including its boats, had its situs in New Jersey; and its entire business consisted in ferrying. The tax upon the 'receiving and landing of passengers and freight at the wharf in Philadelphia,' which was a necessary incident to the transportation across the Delaware river, was a tax upon that transportation; and in this view the tax was held to be void as one laid upon interstate commerce. "The only interference of the State with the landing and receiving of passengers and freight, which is permissible," said the court, "is confined to such measures as will prevent confusion among the vessels, and collision between them, insure their safety and convenience, and facilitate the discharge or receipt of their passengers and freight, which fall under the general head of port regulations." (Id. p. 206.) It was said that the statement of Chief Justice Marshall in Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 203, had relation to ferries entirely within the State. "Ferries," continued the court, (p. 216), “between one of the States and a foreign country cannot be deemed, beyond the control of Congress under the commercial power neither are ferries over waters separating States." And it was pointed out that Congress had passed various laws respecting international and interstate ferries, the validity of which was not open to question [Rev. Stat., §§ 2792, 4233 (Rule 7), 4370, 4426].

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But, in view of the nature of the subject and the diversified regulation which was necessary, it was recognized that the States were entitled to exercise a measure of regulatory power not inconsistent with the Federal authority. The court said: "It is true that, from the earliest period in the history of the government, the States have authorized and regulated ferries, not only over waters entirely within their limits, but over waters separating them; and it may be conceded that in many respects the States can more advantageously manage

Opinion of the Court.

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such inter-State ferries than the General Government; and that the privilege of keeping a ferry, with a right to take toll for passengers and freight, is a franchise grantable by the State, to be exercised within such limits and under such regulations as may be required for the safety, comfort and convenience of the public. Still the fact remains that such a ferry is a means, and a necessary means, of commercial intercourse between the States bordering on their dividing waters, and it must, therefore, be conducted without the imposition by the States of taxes or other burdens upon the commerce between them. Freedom from such impositions does not, of course, imply exemption from reasonable charges, as compensation for the carriage of persons, in the way of tolls or fares, or from the ordinary taxation to which other property is subjected, any more than like freedom of transportation on land implies such exemption." (Id. p. 217.)

In Covington Bridge Co. v. Kentucky, 154 U. S. 204, the question related to the power of the State of Kentucky to regulate tolls upon an interstate bridge built pursuant to the concurrent action of Kentucky and Ohio. The power was denied under the commerce clause. Reviewing the authorities, the opinion was expressed that the principle involved was identical with that applied in Wabash &c. Railway Co. v. Illinois, 118 U. S. 557, with respect to interstate railroad rates, and that (at least in the absence of mutual action) it was impossible for either State to fix a tariff of charges. It was said that it did not follow that because a State might 'authorize a ferry or bridge from its own territory to that of another State' it might 'regulate the charges upon such bridge or ferry.' It was pointed out, however, that the State of Kentucky, by the statute in question attempted to reach out and secure for itself a right to prescribe a rate of toll applicable not only to persons crossing from Kentucky to Ohio, but from Ohio to Kentucky,' a right which practically nullified

Opinion of the Court.

'the corresponding right of Ohio to fix tolls from her own State.' (Id. p. 220.) And this was an adequate basis for the judgment. Four of the justices of the court, concurring in the judgment, announced their view that 'the several States have the power to establish and regulate ferries and bridges, and the rates of toll thereon, whether within one State, or between two adjoining States, subject to the paramount authority of Congress over interstate commerce.' (Id. p. 223.)

In Louisville &c. Ferry Co. v. Kentucky, 188 U. S. 385, where a Kentucky corporation conducting a ferry across the Ohio river between Kentucky and Indiana, held ferry franchises from both States, it was decided that the franchise from Indiana could not be taxed by Kentucky. The court said that the franchises were distinct; that each was 'property entitled to the protection of the law'; and that the Indiana franchise must be regarded as an incorporeal hereditament having its situs in that State and hence as beyond the jurisdiction of Kentucky. The case of St. Clair County v. Interstate Transfer Co., 192 U. S. 454, involved the right of a county in Illinois to recover statutory penalties for carrying on, without a ferry license, the transportation of cars across the Mississippi river between points in Illinois and Missouri. Conceding, arguendo, that the police power of a State extends 'to the establishment, regulation and licensing of ferries on a navigable stream, being the boundary between two States,' it was held that the business of transporting railroad cars was not a ferry business in the proper sense; and that the requirements of the ordinance in question made it a direct burden upon interstate commerce. The ordinance was therefore held to be invalid.

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New York Central R. R. Co. v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, 227 U. S. 248, the question concerned the authority of the New Jersey board to fix rates for a ferry between Weehawken, New Jersey, and New York City.

Opinion of the Court.

It appeared that the ferry was operated in connection with a railroad and it was concluded that the action of Congress with respect thereto (Act to Regulate Commerce, February 4, 1887, § 1, c. 104, 24 Stat. 379) had the effect of freeing the subject from state control.

Coming then to the question now presented-whether a State may fix reasonable rates for ferriage from its shore to the shore of another State,-regard must be had to the basic principle involved. That principle is, as repeatedly declared, that as to those subjects which require a general system or uniformity of regulation the power of Congress is exclusive; that, in other matters, admitting of diversity of treatment according to the special requirements of local conditions, the States may act within their respective jurisdictions until Congress sees fit to act; and that, when Congress does act, the exercise of its authority overrides all conflicting state legislation. Cooley v. Board of Wardens, 12 How. 299, 319; Ex parte McNeil, 13 Wall. 236, 240; Welton v. Missouri, 91 U. S. 275, 280; County of Mobile v. Kimball, 102 U. S. 691, 697; Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, supra, p. 204; Bowman v. Chicago &c. Railway Co., 125 U. S. 465, 481, 485; Gulf, Colorado & Sante Fe Ry. Co. v. Hefley, 158 U. S. 98, 103, 104; Northern Pacific Ry. Co. v. Washington, 222 U. S. 370, 378; Southern Ry. Co. v. Reid, 222 U. S. 424, 436; Minnesota Rate Cases, 230 U. S. 352, 399, 400. It is this principle that is applied in holding that a State may not impose direct burdens upon interstate commerce, for this is to say that the States may not directly regulate or restrain that which from its nature should be under the control of the one authority and be free from restriction save as it is governed by valid Federal rule. (Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, supra.) It was this principle which governed the decision in Wabash &c. Railway Co. v. Illinois, 118 U. S. 557, as to interstate railroad rates. Considering the conditions of interstate railroad trans

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