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ERIE R. CO. V. NEW YORK, 233 U. S. 671 (1914)

U.S. Supreme Court

Erie R. Co. v. New York, 233 U.S. 671 (1914)

Erie Railroad Company v. New York

No. 266

Argued April 24, 27, 1914

Decided May 25, 1914

233 U.S. 671


When Congress acts in such manner as to manifest its constitutional authority in regard to interstate commerce, the regulating power of the state ceases to exist, and if there is conflict between state and federal legislation the former must give way.

After Congress acts on a matter within its exclusive jurisdiction, there is no division of the field of regulation.

Regulation of the railroads is not a mere wanton exercise of power, but a restriction upon their management induced by public interest and safety, and so held that the Hours of Service Act of 1907 is the judgment of Congress of the necessary extent of such restrictions as to employees engaged in interstate commerce which admits of no supplementary regulation by any of the states.

Provisions in the Labor Law of New York of 1907 relating to the hours of service of railroad telegraph operators engaged in interstate commerce are void insofar as they attempt to regulate interstate commerce, as Congress had completely covered the field by the Hours of Service Act of 1907, although that act did not take effect until March, 1908. Northern Pacific Railway Railway Co. v. Washington, 222 U. S. 370.

Where the state court did not decide that a general law amounted to a repeal or alteration of the charter of a corporation, the contention that it did so decide cannot be founded on an expression of personal opinion to that effect of the judge writing the opinion.

Quaere, and not decided in this case, whether it is competent for a state, through its power, to alter or repeal charters of railroads incorporated under its laws so as to displace or share the jurisdiction of Congress over interstate commerce.

Judgment based on 198 N.Y. 369 reversed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality under the Fourteenth Amendment of the eight-hour provisions of the New York Labor Law of 1907 as applied to railroads,

Page 233 U. S. 672

and employees

Page 233 U. S. 675

engaged in interstate commerce, are stated in the opinion.

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