Cooley v. Board of Wardens

1852

In Cooley v. Board of Wardens, the U.S. Supreme Court votes to uphold the pilotage law of Pennsylvania that requires all out-of-state ships to hire a local pilot as a guide to navigate state waters. Ship pilot Cooley failed to hire a local pilot and refuses to pay the resulting fine on the grounds that the pilotage law is a violation of the commerce clause, burdening out-of-state pilots with different requirements than state residents. The Court finds that the states have the authority to legislate on uniquely local matters, even in instances that discriminate between intrastate and interstate commerce.