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Louisiana Law Favoring In-State Purchases Unconstitutional
Description Appeals court upheld a decision striking down a Louisiana law as in violation of the commerce clause. The law, which has provided billions of dollars worth of tax reduction for firms that agree to give preference to in-state workers and suppliers, "affirmatively discriminates against interstate commerce."
Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words Commerce Clause, Interstate Commerce
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Contractors sued Louisiana over a provision in the state constitution that authorizes the state to "enter into contracts for the exemption from ad valorem taxes of a new manufacturing establishment or an addition to an existing manufacturing establishment, on such terms and conditions as the [State Board of Commerce and Industry], with the approval of the governor, deems in the best interest of the state." To get this tax relief, firms had to agree to give preference to Louisiana suppliers and workers "except where not reasonably possible to do so without added expense or substantial inconvenience or sacrifice to operating efficiency." District court struck down the provision as discriminatory against out of state workers and suppliers. The state appealed.
Decision Affirmed. "There is little or no question that the contractor plaintiffs ... are the objects of the State's action ... to prevent them from dealing freely in interstate commerce for products and services of other states." This violates the Commerce Clause.
Citation Pelican Chapter, Assoc. Builders & Contractors, Inc. v. Edwards, 128 F.3d 910 (5th Cir., 1997)

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