In Gibbons v. Ogden, Aaron Ogden purchased a state license in New York to exclusively operate a steamboat line?
- rickinnocalLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
He purchased a license to operate a steamboat line, but it was not exclusive. Robert R. Livingston and Robert Fulton had an exclusive license to operate steamboats in NY waters, and they sold a sub-license to Ogden (and several others)
Gibbons held a license from the Federal Gov't to operate a steamboat line between New Jersey and New York, and Ogden obtained a court order from the NY courts restraining Gibbons from operating his steamboats in NY waters. Gibbons appealed to the Federal courts, and the Supreme Court ruled that the power to regulate a steamboat between NJ and NY was exclusively vested in the Federal Gov't by the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution.
Were it not, they ruled, nothing would prevent NJ from issuing Gibbons an exclusive license to operate in their waters, just as Ogden had from NY - making steamboat traffic between NJ and NY impossible.