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United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority

Docket No.: 05-1345
Certiorari Granted: Sep 26 2006
Argued: January 8, 2007
Decided: April 30, 2007

Topics:

Antitrust, Commerce Clause, disparate impact, disparate treatment, stare decisis

PartyNames: UNITED HAULERS ASSOCIATION, INC., et al. v. ONEIDA-HERKIMER SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY et al.
Petitioner: United Haulers Association, Inc., et al.
Respondent: Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United Haulers Association, Inc., et al.
v.
Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, et al.
550 U.S. 330 (2007)
Background:

This Court held in C & A Carbone, Inc. v. Town of Clarkstown, 511 U.S. 383, 386 (1994), that "a so-called flow control ordinance, which require[d] all solid waste to be processed at a designated transfer station before leaving the municipality,' discriminated against interstate commerce and was invalid under the Commerce Clause because it "depriv[ed] competitors, including out-of-state firms, of access to a local market." This case presents two questions, the first of which is the subject of an acknowledged circuit conflict:

Question Presented:

1. Whether the virtually per se prohibition against "hoard[ing] solid waste" (Id. at 392) recognized in Carbone is inapplicable when the "preferred processing facility" (ibid.) is owned by a public entity2. Whether a flow-control ordinance that requires delivery of all solid waste to a publicly owned local facility and thus prohibits its exportation imposes so "insubstantial" a burden on interstate commerce that the provision satisfies the Commerce Clause if it serves even a "minimal" local benefit.

Question:

Does an ordinance requiring delivery of all solid waste to a publicly owned local facility impose a substantial burden on interstate commerce and therefore violate the Commerce Clause?

Holding: affirmed
Vote: 6-3
Read UNITED HAULERS ASSOCIATION V. ONEIDA-HERKIMER SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY opinion (PDF)

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