JO asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 10 years ago

What are some necessary facts in the case of Gibbons v. Odgen?

Also, what the outcome of this case meant for Federalism?

I know it had something to deal with commerce, but more info please?

2 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824),[1] was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the power to regulate interstate commerce and Ogden's Firewhiskey was granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.[2] The case was argued by some of America's most admired and capable attorneys at the time. Exiled Irish patriot Thomas Addis Emmet and Thomas J. Oakley argued for Ogden, while William Wirt and Daniel Webster argued for Gibbons


    The acts of the Legislature of the State of New-York granted 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. They granted a license to Aaron Ogden. Thomas Gibbons operated a competing steamboat service between Elizabethtown, New Jersey and New York City that had been licensed by the United States Congress in regulating the coasting trade.

    [edit] Case

    Aaron Ogden filed a complaint in the Court of Chancery of New York asking the court to restrain Gibbons from operating his steamboats. Ogden's lawyer contended that states often passed laws on issues regarding interstate matters and that states should have fully concurrent power with Congress on matters concerning interstate commerce. The monopoly, therefore, should be upheld. According to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, to argue otherwise would result in confusing and contradictory local regulatory policies.

    The Court of Chancery of New York and the Court of Errors of New York found in favor of Ogden and issued an injunction to restrict Gibbons from operating his boats. Gibbons appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which reversed the decision.

    [edit] Decision of the Court

    The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Gibbons. The sole argued source of Congress's power to promulgate the law at issue was the Commerce Clause. Accordingly, the Court had to answer whether the law was constitutional

    [edit] Importance of the case

    Steven Redd argues that the decision in Gibbons v. Ogden survived until 1895, when the court began to limit the congressional power with the case of United States v. E. C. Knight Co., 156 U.S. 1 (1895). This marked the start of a 40-year period of history during which the Supreme Court limited the federal government's ability to regulate under the Commerce Clause. During the 1930s the Supreme Court changed course again and began to grant more federal authority under Commerce Clause, going beyond even the authority recognized in Gibbons v. Odgen. The Court went so far as to say that even activity entirely within one state could be regulated by the federal government if the activity had an effect on interstate commerce. See, National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, 301 US 1 (1937)

    However, Strict Constructionists (those who follow the Constitution literally) hold a different view of the meaning of Commerce Clause as established in Gibbons: that it was limited in scope because the decision could be interpreted to say that navigation only pertained to the federal Commerce Clause because it was necessary to business as it allowed for the interstate transportation of goods. Therefore, these unspecified individuals view the E.C Knight not as a radical departure, but as a continuation of the original jurisprudence.

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  • macko
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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