United Building v. Mayor and Council of Camden Case Brief

Summary of United Building v. Mayor and Council of Camden
S. Ct. 1984

Relevant Facts: N.J. passed an ordinance requiring 40% of employees working on city construction project be Camden residents. The ordinance’s objective was to set minority hiring goals on all public works contracts, but also placed the resident restriction. The conditions applied to contractors and subcontractors alike. The State Treasurer approved the ordinance.

Legal Issue(s): Whether a municipal ordinance is subject to the restriction of the Privileges and Immunities Clause as well as a the states?

Court’s Holding: Yes

Procedure: S. Ct. of NJ rejected P & I claim by United. S. Ct. reversed and remanded.

Law or Rule(s): The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the Several States.

Court Rationale: Although Camden’s ordinance discriminates against a protected privilege, seeking employment, but with substantial reason for doing so. The ordinance is necessary to counteract grace economic and social ills. Absent a factual showing this ct is unable and unwilling to make a determination as to the degree of Camden’s justification.

Plaintiff’s Argument: The ordinance discriminates against a protected privilege, employment within a governmental entity.

Defendant’s Argument: The P and I Cl only applies to laws passed by a State, and to laws that discriminate on the basis of state citizenship.

P & I TEST : 1) Whether the ordinance burdens one of the privileges and immunities protected;

2) Whether an interest is sufficiently a fundamental promotion of interstate harmony.

If discrimination exists against a P & I, that discrimination must have a “substantial reason" for the difference in treatment. 1) Whether a reason exists; and 2) Whether the degree of discrimination bears a close relation to the reasons.

HICKLIN -The state’s interests are not absolute, state ownership of property (interest) is weighed against the discrimination of nonresidents.

Ipso facto – by the fact itself.



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