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Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 US 1 (1824) p.159


Commerce Clause - interstate waterways


The acts of the Legislature of the State of New-York, granting to Robert R. Livingston and Robert Fulton the exclusive navigation of all the waters within the jurisdiction of that State, with boats moved by fire or steam, for a term of years, are repugnant to that clause of the constitution of the United States, which authorizes Congress to regulate commerce, so far as the said acts prohibit vessels licensed, according to the laws of the United States, for carrying on the coasting trade, from navigating the said waters by means of fire or steam.



Whether Congress has the power to regulate interstate waterways.


Congress has the power to regulate commerce.



Commercial intercourse - commerce, undoubtedly, is traffice, but it is something more - it is intercourse. It describes the commercial intercourse between nations, and parts of nations, in all its branches, and is refulated by prescribing rules for carrying on that intercourse.


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