Total Quantity of petro products shipped into Maryland
No evidence that there would be an effect.
Court Does not discriminate, Does not favor local
Maryland's entire gasoline supply flows in interstate commerce.
There are no local producers or refiners
Claims of disparate treatment between interstate and local
commerce would be meritless.
Appellants Arg Statute protects in-state independent dealers
from out-of-state competition
They contend the burden of the divestiture requirements falls
solely on interstate companies.
Court This does not show interstate discrimination
But this fact does not lead, either logically or as a practical
matter, to a conclusion that the State is discriminating against
interstate commerce at the retail level.
Court - Interstate Marketers no affected the Act
Several major interstate marketers of petroleum that own and
operate their own retail gasoline stations are not affected
by the Act because they do
not refine or produce gasoline.
Court What the Act does not do
Creates no barriers whatsoever against interstate independent
It does not prohibit the flow of interstate goods,
It does not place added costs upon them, or
It does not distinguish between in-state and out-of-state
companies in the retail market.
Court - No Competitive Advantage
In-state independent dealers will have no competitive advantage
over out-of-state dealers.
The fact that the burden of a state regulation falls on some
interstate companies does not, by itself, establish a claim of
discrimination against interstate commerce.
Appellant Arg Interfered with natural functioning interstate
Regardless of whether the State has interfered with the movement
of goods in interstate commerce, it has interfered "with the
natural functioning of the interstate market either through
prohibition through burdensome regulation."
Appellant Arg Will weaken independent refiners
The statute will surely change the market structure by weakening
the independent refiners.
Court Commerce Clause protects interstate market not
The Clause protects the interstate market, not particular
interstate firms, from prohibitive or burdensome regulations.
It may be true that the consuming public will be injured by the
loss of the high-volume, low-priced stations operated by the
independent refiners, but again that argument relates to the
wisdom of the statute, not to its burden on commerce.
[Justice Blackmun] DISSENT as to the commerce clause issue
Blackmun Divestiture is not justified.
The provision precludes out-of-state competitors from retailing
gasoline within Maryland.
Protects in-state stations
The effect is to protect in-state retail service station dealers
from the competition of the out-of-state businesses.
This protectionist discrimination is not justified by any
legitimate state interest that cannot be vindicated by more
Excluding out-of-state retailers (95%) and protecting local
Of the class of stations statutorily insulated from the
competition of the out-of-state integrated firms, then, more
than 99% were operated by local business interests.
Of the class of enterprises excluded entirely from participation
in the retail gasoline market, 95% were out-of-state firms,
operating 98% of the stations in the class.
How the ban will hurt Exxon
Preclude enhancing brand name recognition.
Appellants will have to cease operation which will cost $10
This will inflict significant economic hardship.
The closing of 199 stations, allowing 34 to remain open.
How the ban will help Maryland
Improve position of local service station.
Insulates them from out-of-state competition.
When is a burden unconstitutional
But when the burden is significant,
When it falls on
the most numerous and effective group of
When a similar burden does
not fall on the class of protected in-state businessmen,
When the State cannot justify the resulting disparity by showing
that its legislative interests cannot be vindicated by more
evenhanded regulation, unconstitutional discrimination exists.
Blackmun Does not effect wholesalers, but it does effect
The Commerce Clause does not forbid ONLY legislation that
discriminates under ALL factual circumstances.
It forbids discrimination in effect against interstate commerce
on the SPECIFIC facts of each case.
An Act that might be allowed
If production or refining of gasoline occurred in Maryland it
might not be unconstitutional.
The producers and refiners would have a fair opportunity to
influence their local legislators and thereby to prevent the
enactment of economically disruptive legislation.
Basic Assumptions of Commerce Clause
One of the basic assumptions of the Commerce Clause is that
local political systems will tend to be unresponsive to problems
not felt by local constituents.
Basic Purpose of the Commerce Clause
To prevent the vindication of such self-interest from unfairly
burdening out-of-state concerns and thereby disrupting the