A South Carolina statute designated certain maritime waters off the coast of that state as “a common for the people of the state for the taking of fish.” However, the statute also required payment of a license fee of $25 for each shrimp boat in the area owned by a South Carolina resident, and $2,500 for each boat owned by a non-resident. Toomer (plaintiff) was an individual fisherman from Georgia, who instituted this action along with four other Georgia fishermen in district court against Witsell (defendant), the South Carolina official responsible for enforcing the statute and fees. Toomer sought to enjoin enforcement of the South Carolina statute on the grounds that it violated the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Art. IV, § 2 of the Constitution, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The district court denied the injunction and dismissed the case, and Toomer appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court.