H P Hood and Sons v. Dumond Case Brief

Summary of H P Hood & Sons v. Dumond
336 U.S. 525 [1949]

Relevant Facts: Hood was a milk distributor in Mass. but purchased the milk in N. Y. where it operated three receiving depots. Hood attempted to open a fourth but was denied by the Commission of Agriculture based on opinion the new license would be destructive to competition in a market already adequately served and not in the public interest. Dumond is the Commissioner.

If the fourth were opened it would allow shorter hauls for the suppliers and increase that # to 30+.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the denial of the license was an unconstitutional regulation that burdens interstate commerce?

Court’s Holding: Yes

Procedure: Pet. Hood lost in lower ct. Appealed S. Ct. Reversed and Remanded for further proceedings consistent.

Law or Rule(s): A1S8C3The Congress shall have Power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes. A1S8C18 To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing powers.

Court Rationale: The sworn/admitted purpose and effect of the N.Y. law was to curtail the volume of interstate commerce to aid local interests. The states are not separate economic units. A state may not use it police powers to protect health and safety by suppressing competition.

The limitation of competition in N.Y. would contribute to safety and conservation, but it also represses interstate commerce among the several states.

Plaintiff’s Argument: (Dumond) The regulation seeks only to protect the health and safety of the public.

Defendant’s Argument: The primary purpose of the regulation is to suppress competition and limit interstate commerce

Minority View – The language is not discriminatory, the legislative history does not show that intent, and the commissioner has not administered it in a hostile manner. The majority has established a new test to invalidate state laws regulating local phases of interstate commerce.

Baldwin – One State in its dealings with another may not place itself in a position of economic isolation.

Eisenberg – license, bond, and regulation of prices to be paid to producers, and there effects are considered incidental and not forbidden by the Constitution, in the absence of regulation by Congress.


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