SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. v. ARIZONA EX REL. SULLIVAN

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
56
Petitioner 
Southern Pacific Co.
Respondent 
Arizona ex rel. Sullivan
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Arizona banned operation of trains more than 14 passenger cars of 70 freight cars long.

Question 

Was the Arizona law an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for Southern Pacific Co., 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: US Const. Art 1, Section 8, Clause 3; Arizona Train Limit Law of 1912

Yes it was such a burden. The Arizona law imposed a stiff burden on the railroad. It had to operate 30 percent more trains in the state, and it had to break up and remake trains passing through the state. The total cost was several million dollars a year. Moreover, more trains would produce more accidents and the state's safety argument was empirically weak. The innovation in this decision was Stone's use of an "interest-balancing" standard of review, which proved more demanding than the earlier "rational basis" test.

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SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. v. ARIZONA EX REL. SULLIVAN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 24 August 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1944/1944_56>.
SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. v. ARIZONA EX REL. SULLIVAN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1944/1944_56 (last visited August 24, 2014).
"SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. v. ARIZONA EX REL. SULLIVAN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 24, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1944/1944_56.