DEAN MILK COMPANY v. MADISON
A Madison, Wisconsin ordinance prohibited the sale of milk within city limits unless it came from a local farm or was pasteurized at an approved plant within five miles of the center of Madison. When the Dean Milk Company, located in Illinois, was denied a permit to sell milk, it filed suit against the city.
Did the Madison ordinance unconstitutionally interfere with interstate commerce?
In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court held that the Wisconsin ordinance imposed an "undue burden" on interstate commerce. The Court argued that general discrimination against non-local producers was not narrowly tailored to serve the city's interests. Reasonable, nondiscriminatory alternatives were available to ensure milk sold in the city was wholesome and properly pasteurized. "To permit Madison to adopt a regulation not essential for the protection of local health interest and placing a discriminatory burden on interstate commerce would invite a multiplication of preferential trade areas destructive of the very purpose of the Commerce Clause."