S. Pac. Co. v. Arizona

249 U.S. 472, 39 S. Ct. 313 (1919)



The mere intention of a shipper to ultimately continue his tour beyond the state does not convert a contemplated intrastate movement into one that is interstate.


A railroad company was hired to transport eighteen cars of carnival show equipment, including employees and animals, from Tucson to Phoenix, Arizona. The Arizona Corporation Commission required a railroad company to publish special intrastate rate for transportation of a carnival show. The railroad company, however, declared that it was not a common carrier of shows and would provide service between two points in the state only at certain published interstate rates. Its refusal to obey the order resulted in a fine for contempt. The State of Arizona filed a case to recover the amount of the fine, which was granted by the trial court. On appeal to the Supreme Court of Arizona, the judgment was affirmed. The case was elevated to the Supreme Court of the United States.


May the railroad company charge interstate rates?




The court held that the railroad company was not entitled to charge interstate rates merely because the carnival show would eventually leave the state. Although the carnival show was engaged in an interstate tour, the court found no violation of the commerce clause, U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, because a shipment between two stations in the state was not in interstate commerce.

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