Key SCOTUS Cases – C & A Carbone, Inc. v. Town of Clarkstown

by Professor Byron L. Warnken on September 16, 2010

C & A Carbone, Inc., v. Town of Clarkstown

Legislative Branch; Enumerated Powers; Dormant Commerce Clause

Town built a waste recycling center and enacted an ordinance requiring all solid waste generated in the town to pass through its center.  Company processed solid waste, did not use Town’s facility, and was cited for violating the ordinance.  Supreme Court addressed whether the ordinance was valid by discriminating against interstate commerce through local economic protectionism.  Ordinance discriminated by allowing only favored operator to process waste within town limits.  Discrimination against interstate commerce, in favor of local business or investment, is per se invalid, unless Town can demonstrate, under strict scrutiny, that it has no other means to advance legitimate local interest.  Court held that state and local governments may not use regulatory power to favor local enterprise by prohibiting patronage of out-of-state competitors.

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