Corfield v. Coryell

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Corfield v. Coryell
Citation 6 Fed. Cas. 546, (E.D. Pa. 1823)


A N.J. statute forbade anyone not "an actual inhabitant or resident" of the state to gather clams and oysters from the state's waters.


Is the N.J. statute a violation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause and did the law regulate interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause?


No, the N.J. state law was permissible. The privileges that must be preserved are those that are fundamental; the fish within the state's waters were the common property of the state's citizens and it would be going too far to give equal right to non-residents under the privileges and immunities clause.


Fundamental privileges include:

  • Protection by the government.
  • Right to acquire and possess property
  • Right to pursue and obtain happiness and safety, subject to police power