Constitutional Law – Commerce Clause – Local Smoke Control Ordinance Not an Undue Burden on Interstate Commerce
In accordance with a scheme of federal ship inspection, appellant possessed certificates which permitted its ships to operate on the Great Lakes and which specified the type of boiler which might be used. While two of its ships were docked in Detroit, smoke was emitted from their boilers in violation of the minimum density and duration requirements of the Detroit Smoke Abatement Code. The equipment which appellant was then using made compliance with the ordinance impossible. When criminal proceedings were instituted against appellant, it brought an action to enjoin the City of Detroit from enforcing the ordinance on the theory that the regulation placed an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce. The lower court denied the injunction and was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Michigan. On appeal to the United States Supreme Court, held, affirmed, two Justices dissenting. A state police power regulation which neither discriminates against interstate commerce nor disrupts a national policy of uniform regulation is constitutional. Huron Portland Cement Co. v. City of Detroit, 362 U.S. 440 (1960).