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South Carolina State Highway Dept. v. Barnwell Bros., Inc.

United States Supreme Court
303 U.S. 177 (1938)


Facts

In 1933, South Carolina passed a regulation prohibiting the operation on its state highways of certain motor trucks and “semi-trailer” motor trucks which exceeded width and weight limitations. For purposes of the weight limit, the statute considered semi-trailer motor trucks, which were composed of two pieces, as one single unit. Barnwell Bros., Inc. (plaintiff), an out-of-state trucking company, brought suit in district court against the South Carolina Highway Dept. (defendant), challenging the South Carolina weight restrictions as an impermissible restriction on interstate commerce. The district court upheld the South Carolina regulations on the grounds that Congress had not acted to regulate this area of interstate commerce, thus leaving all regulation up to the individual states. The court of appeals reversed. The South Carolina Highway Dept. appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Stone, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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