WILLSON v. BLACKBIRD CREEK MARSH CO.

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Case Basics
Petitioner 
Willson
Respondent 
Blackbird Creek Marsh Co.
Opinion 
Term:
Facts of the Case 

The state of Delaware authorized the Blackbird Creek Marsh Company to construct a dam spanning the Blackbird Creek. Willson, the licensed owner of a sailing vessel, was travelling on the Creek and broke through the dam. The Company successfully sued Willson for trespassing and obtained a court order for Willson to pay damages. Willson then brought the case to the Supreme Court.

Question 

Did Delaware's authorization of the building of the dam unconstitutionally infringe upon Congress's powers under the Commerce Clause?

Conclusion 

In a unanimous opinion, the Court held that the Act's interference with the navigation of the Blackbird Creek was "an affair between the government of Delaware and its citizens," and was not in conflict with the Commerce Clause. The Court found that Congress had taken no actions with which the Delaware authorization could conflict: "We do not think that the Act. . .can. . .be considered as repugnant to the power to regulate commerce in its dormant state, or as being in conflict with any law passed on the subject."

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WILLSON v. BLACKBIRD CREEK MARSH CO.. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1829/1829_0>.
WILLSON v. BLACKBIRD CREEK MARSH CO., The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1829/1829_0 (last visited November 25, 2014).
"WILLSON v. BLACKBIRD CREEK MARSH CO.," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1829/1829_0.