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PIKE V. BRUCE CHURCH, INC., 397 U. S. 137 (1970)

U.S. Supreme Court

Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc., 397 U.S. 137 (1970)

Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc.

No. 301

Argued January 13, 1970

Decided March 2, 1970

397 U.S. 137


Appellee company grows cantaloupes of superior quality in Parker, Arizona. Since the company lacks packing sheds in Parker, it transports the cantaloupes to its nearby facilities in California, where they are sorted, inspected, packed, and shipped in containers that bear the name of the California packer. Appellant official, acting under the Arizona Fruit and Vegetable Standardization Act, which is designed to prevent deceptive packaging, entered an order prohibiting the company from shipping its cantaloupes outside the State unless they were packed in containers in a manner approved by appellant. Appellant contends that his order is necessary to ensure that the cantaloupes be identified as of Arizona origin. Appellee brought this suit for injunctive relief challenging the constitutionality of the order, which would have the effect of requiring appellee to build packing facilities in or near Parker at a cost of about $200,000. A three-judge District Court issued an injunction holding that the order constituted an unlawful burden on interstate commerce.


1. Appellant's order burdens interstate commerce, since the cantaloupes were destined to be shipped from Arizona to an ascertainable location in California immediately after harvest, and application of the challenged statute would require an operation now conducted outside the State to be performed within the State so it can be regulated there. Pp. 397 U. S. 140-142.

2. The burden on interstate commerce imposed by appellant's order is unconstitutional, since Arizona's minimal interest in identifying the origin of appellee's cantaloupes to enhance the reputation of Arizona producers cannot justify subjecting appellee to the substantial capital expenditure of building and operating in Arizona a packing plant that it does not need. Pp. 397 U. S. 142-146.


Page 397 U. S. 138

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