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Opinion of the Court.
portation, which might extend not only from one State to another but through a series of States, or across the Continent, and the consequences which would ensue if each State should undertake to fix rates for such portions of continuous interstate hauls as might be within its territory, the conclusion was reached that 'this species of regulation' was one 'which must be, if established at all, of a general and national character' and could not be 'safely and wisely remitted to local rules.' (Id. p. 577.)
But, in the case of ferries, we have a subject of a different character. We dismiss from consideration those ferries which are operated in connection with railroads, and cases, if any, where the ferriage is part of a longer and continuous transportation. Ferries, such as are involved in the present case are simply means of transit from shore to shore. These have always been regarded as instruments of local convenience which, for the proper protection of the public, are subject to local regulation; and where the ferry is conducted over a boundary stream, each jurisdiction with respect to the ferriage from its shore has exercised this protective power. There are a multitude of such ferries throughout the country and, apart from certain rules as to navigation, they have not engaged the attention of Congress. We also put on one side the question of prohibitory or discriminatory requirements, or burdensome exactions imposed by the State, which may be said to interfere with the guaranteed freedom of interstate intercourse or with constitutional rights of property. The present question is simply one of reasonable charges. It is argued that the mere fact that interstate transportation is involved is sufficient to defeat the local regulation of rates because, it is said, that it amounts to a regulation of interstate commerce. But this would not be deemed a sufficient ground for invalidating the local action without considering the nature of the regulation and the special subject to which it relates. Quarantine and pilotage
Opinion of the Court.
regulations may be said to be quite as direct in their operation, but they are not obnoxious when not in conflict with Federal rules. The fundamental test, to which we have referred, must be applied; and the question is whether, with regard to rates, there is any inherent necessity for a single regulatory power over these numerous ferries across boundary streams; whether, in view of the character of the subject and the variety of regulation required, it is one which demands the exclusion of local authority. Upon this question, we can entertain no doubt. It is true that in the case of a given ferry between two States there might be a difference in the charge for ferriage from one side as compared with that for ferriage from the other. But this does not alter the aspect of the subject. The question is still one with respect to a ferry which necessarily implies transportation for a short distance, almost invariably between two points only, and unrelated to other transportation. It thus presents a situation essentially local requiring regulation according to local conditions. It has never been supposed that because of the absence of Federal action the public interest was unprotected from extortion and that in order to secure reasonable charges in a myriad of such different local instances, exhibiting an endless variety of circumstance, it would be necessary for Congress to act directly or to establish for that purpose a Federal agency. The matter is illuminated by the consideration of this alternative for the point of the contention is that, there being no Federal regulation, the ferry rates are to be deemed free from all control. The practical advantages of having the matter dealt with by the States are obvious and are illustrated by the practice of one hundred and twenty-five years. And in view of the character of the subject, we find no sound objection to its continuance. If Congress at any time undertakes to regulate such rates, its action will of course control.
If the State may exercise this power, it necessarily
follows that it may not, in its exercise, derogate from the similar authority of another State. The state power can extend only to the transactions within its own territory and the ferriage from its own shore. It follows that the fact that rates were fixed by New York did not preclude New Jersey from establishing reasonable rates with respect to the ferry establishment maintained on its side.
With respect to the rates for round trips, we do not construe the ordinance as requiring the company to issue round-trip tickets at its office in New Jersey. We may not look into the testimony and it does not appear that such a construction has been placed upon the ordinance by the state court. Viewed as a limitation upon rates charged for such round-trip tickets, when sold by the company in New Jersey, we think that the ordinance is valid being one relating to the transactions of the company in New Jersey and the charges there enforced. Whether it would be competent for the State, through the local board, to require the company to issue roundtrip tickets, is a question not presented by the record, and we express no opinion upon it.
The judgment is affirmed.
CITY OF SAULT STE. MARIE v. INTERNATIONAL TRANSIT COMPANY.
APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN.
No. 323. Argued March 20, 1914.—Decided June 8, 1914.
A State may not make commercial intercourse with another State or a foreign country a matter of local privilege and require that it cannot be carried on without its consent, and to exact a license fee as the price of that consent.
Argument for Appellants.
234 U. S.
Transportation between States and foreign countries is within the protection of the constitutional grant to Congress, and this includes transportation by ferry. Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 114 U. S. 196.
One otherwise enjoying full capacity for the purpose of carrying on interstate or foreign commerce cannot be compelled to take out a local license for the mere privilege of carrying it on.
An ordinance enacted by the city of Sault Ste. Marie under state authority, requiring a license fee for the operation of ferries to the Canadian shore opposite, held unconstitutional, as applied to the owners of a ferryboat plying from the Canadian shore, as a burden on interstate commerce.
Quare, whether such an ordinance is void as violative of Article I of the Treaty of 1909 with Great Britain.
194 Fed. Rep. 522, reversed.
THE facts, which involve the right of the State, or a municipality acting under its authority, to establish ordinances regulating maintenance of ferries between its ports and one of a foreign government and the construction of the treaty of 1909 with Great Britain, are stated in the opinion.
Mr. John W. Shine, with whom Mr. F. T. McDonald was on the brief, for appellants:
The ordinance is not invalid as in violation of the commerce clause of the Constitution.
A ferry is in respect to the landing and not on the water. The point of departure is the seat, the base, the home of the ferry. Conway v. Taylor, 1 Bl. 603; Louisville Ferry Co. v. Kentucky, 188 U. S. 385, 394; Memphis v. Overton, 3 Yerg. (Tenn.) 387, 390; State v. Faudre, 54 W. Va. 122; Powers v. Athens, 99 N. Y. 592.
Ferries are local in their nature and the regulation of ferries is a matter of local concern. Chilvers v. People, 11 Michigan, 51; St. Clair County v. Interstate Sand Co., 192 U. S. 454.
In all local matters state statutes are valid until superseded by act of Congress. Cooley v. Port Wardens, 12
Argument for Appellants.
How. 310; Mobile v. Kimball, 102 U. S. 691, 702; Atlantic &c. Co. v. Philadelphia, 190 U. S. 160; Bowman v. Railroad Co., 125 U. S. 465, 507; Leisy v. Hardin, 135 U. S. 100; Stoughtenburgh v. Hennick, 129 U. S. 141; Telegraph Co. v. Pendleton, 122 U. S. 347; Ouachita Packet Co. v. Aiken, 121 U. S. 444; Robbins v. Taxing District, 120 U. S. 489; Wabash Railway v. Illinois, 118 U. S. 557; Morgan v. Louisiana, 118 U. S. 455; Cardwell v. Bridge Co., 113 U. S. 205, 210; Willoughby's Fed. Const., § 309.
The privilege of keeping a ferry over boundary streams with the right to take tolls for passengers and property is grantable by the State. Gloucester Ferry Case, 114 U. S. 196, 217; State v. Faudre, 54 W. Va. 122; Ferry Co. v. Russell, 52 W. Va. 356; Cross.v. Hopkins, 6 W. Va. 323; Carroll v. Campbell, 108 Missouri, 550; State v. Sickmann, 65 Mo. App. 499; Tugwell v. Eagle Pass Ferry Co., 74 Texas, 480; Parsons v. Hunt, 98 Texas, 420; Nixon v. Reid, 8 So. Dak. 507; Hatten v. Turnman 123 Kentucky, 844.
234 U. S.
The right to establish and regulate ferries over boundary streams is among the powers reserved to the State. Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1; In re Young, Fed. Cas. No. 18,150; Memphis v. Overton, 11 Tennessee (3 Yerg.), 387; People v. Babcock, 11 Wend. 587; Jones v. Fanning, 1 Morris, 348; Mills v. St. Clair Co., 7 Illinois, 197, 225, aff'd 8 How. 569; Phillips v. Bloomington, 1 G. Greene, 498; Fanning v. Gregoire, 16 How. 524; Chosen Freeholders v. State, 24 N. J. Law, 718; Newport v. Taylor, 16 B. Mon. 699; Chispella v. Brown, 14 La. Ann. 185; Minturn v. LaRue, 23 How. 435; Conway v. Taylor, 1 Black, 603; Chilvers v. People, 11 Michigan, 43; Marshall v. Grimes, 41 Mississippi, 27; Burlington v. Davis, 48 Iowa, 133; St. Louis v. Waterloo Ferry Co., 14 Mo. App. 216; Wiggins Ferry Co. v. East St. Louis, 107 U. S. 365; Tugwell v. Eagle Pass Ferry, 9 S. W. Rep. 120; S. C., 13 S. W. Rep. 654; Madison v. Abbott, 118 Indiana, 337; Carroll v. Camp