| 73 U.S. 35 (more)|
| Crandall v. State of Nevada|
Supreme Court of the United States
Kent v Dulles, Cooley v Board of Wardens, Slaughter‑House Cases, Pace v Alabama, Bradwell v Illinois
Crandall v. Nevada, 73 U.S. 35 (1868) was a U.S. Supreme Court case that established that a state cannot inhibit people from leaving the state by taxing them. The opinion of the Court was written by Justice Miller. Chief Justice Chase and Justice Clifford concurred.
"But if the government has these rights on her own account, the citizen also has correlative rights. He has the right to come to the seat of the government... this right is in its nature independent of the will of any State over whose soil he must pass in the exercise of it." –Miller, J.
Crandall v. Nevada Wikipedia
In 1867, a Nevada statute imposed a $1 tax on every person leaving the state by railroad, stage coach, or other vehicles engaged or employed in the business of transporting passengers for hire.
Does the tax violate Article I, section 10, which prohibits state "Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports?" No. Is the tax allowed? No.
The Court reasoned that the right to travel is a fundamental right. The people of the United States constitute one nation, and a State may not impose a tax on a person for the "privilege" of leaving the State or for passing through it.
The Court stated that a person traveling is different from the transportation of a good, therefore you can’t have imposts or duties on a person. The Court cited precedent from Cooley v. Board of Wardens to show that a tax "does not itself institute any regulation of commerce of a national character...." The Court also used precedent from McCulloch v. Maryland to show that the very presence of the tax was unconstitutional, not its degree of burdensomeness.
Chief Justice Chase and Justice Clifford concurred. They based their reasoning on the commerce clause of the Constitution, saying that this tax impeded interstate commerce.
A state cannot inhibit people from leaving the state by taxing them.