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Case Basics
Facts of the Case 

A Louisiana law assessed an annual tax on goods which remained stored on flat boats prior to sale. Brown, a representative of a Pennsylvania coal mining company, refused to pay the tax on a load of coal which had been shipped to an agent in New Orleans.


Did the Louisiana law violate the Constitution by posing an improper restriction on interstate commerce?


No. The Court found that the Louisiana law did not violate the Constitution. Justice Bradley reasoned that since the law imposed a tax upon merchandise which had "already arrived at its destination," merchandise which was effectively "a commodity in the market of New Orleans," it was not offensive to the Commerce Clause. It was not a regulation on goods which were "in a state of transit." Furthermore, the law did not discriminate against foreign producers because it applied to all goods within the state, not exempting products which had been made locally.

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BROWN v. HOUSTON. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
BROWN v. HOUSTON, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"BROWN v. HOUSTON," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,