A state may exercise eminent domain power even though by so doing it indirectly or incidentally burdens interstate commerce.
In eminent domain proceedings, plaintiff city sought to acquire defendant football franchise, a franchise of defendant league. The trial court entered judgment in favor of defendants and found the plaintiff's proposed exercise of eminent domain violated U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 3. Plaintiff sought review and argued that its exercise of eminent domain power was exempt from scrutiny under the commerce clause. Defendants argued that professional football was so completely involved in interstate commerce that acquisition of a franchise by an individual state or city through eminent domain would impermissibly burden interstate commerce.
May the city exercise its power of eminent domain to acquire a football franchise?
The appellate court found that plaintiff claimed authority to bar indefinitely defendant football franchise from relocating. Plaintiff's proposed taking of intangible property more than indirectly regulated interstate commerce. The appellate court affirmed the trial court's judgment because the burden that would be imposed on interstate commerce outweighed the local interest in plaintiff's proposed exercise of statutory eminent domain authority over defendant football franchise.