Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gibbons v. Ogden case brief

Gibbons v. Ogden case brief summary
22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 1 (1824)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant appealed from the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and Correction of Errors of the State of New York which perpetuated an injunction to restrain defendants from navigating their steamboats in the waters of the state, pursuant to state law.

CASE FACTS
A state act gave an exclusive right to certain individuals to use steam navigation in all the waters of New York for 30 years from 1808. An injunction was issued restraining defendants from navigating steamboats in the waters within the state because of this exclusive privilege, which defendants violated. Defendants contended that the privilege violated an act of Congress which regulated the licensing of ships and vessels in the coasting trade and fisheries and was repugnant to the Constitution and laws of the United States. The state court found in favor of the plaintiff, and defendants appealed.

DISCUSSION
  • On appeal, the court reversed, finding that the act of Congress gave full authority to defendants' vessels to navigate the waters of the United States. 
  • The law of the state of New York, prohibiting the vessels from navigating the waters of the state, was repugnant to the Constitution and void.

CONCLUSION
On appeal, the court reversed, finding that the act of Congress gave full authority to defendants' vessels to navigate the waters of the United States and that the law of the state of New York prohibiting navigation in the waters of the state was repugnant to the Constitution and void.

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