Constitutional Law Keyed to Chemerinsky
Exxon Corporation v. Governor of Maryland
The Plaintiffs, Exxon Corporation and other oil refiners (Plaintiffs), sell petroleum to independent retailers in Maryland. The state of Maryland passed a law prohibiting producers and refiners of petroleum products from operating retail gas stations within the state to correct inequities in the pricing. There were no virtually no petroleum producers and refiners in Maryland. The effect of this law was to force various companies to divest themselves of their Maryland gas stations. Moreover, the producers and refiners could not directly sell their product in Maryland. Those effected by the law were predominantly out-of-state producers. The Plaintiffs challenged the law, arguing it had a discriminatory effect and that violated the Commerce Clause because it impermissibly burdened interstate commerce. At trial, the Plaintiffs prevailed on due process grounds. However, the Maryland Court of Appeals reversed, upholding the law against the Plaintiffs.
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