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U.S. Supreme Court

Haskell v. Kansas Natural Gas Co., 224 U.S. 217 (1912)

Haskell v. Kansas Natural Gas Company

No. 914

Submitted February 23, 1912

Decided April 1, 1912

224 U.S. 217


Natural gas, after severance from the soil, being a commodity which may be dealt in like other products of the earth and a legitimate subject of interstate commerce, no state can prohibit its being transported in interstate commerce beyond the lines of the state, and the act of Oklahoma attempting so to do is an unconstitutional interference with interstate commerce as held in this case, 221 U. S. 229.

A state may by proper legislation regulate the removal from the earth of natural gas by the owner thereof, but may not discriminate against corporations doing an interstate business by denying them the right to cross highways of the state while domestic corporations engaged in the same business are permitted to use the highways.

Regulations in a state statute which may be valid as to individuals and domestic corporations engaged in business wholly within the state are not applicable to corporations engaged in doing the same business in interstate commerce when the statute expressly forbids such commerce; this Court will not, therefore, direct that regulations of that nature become applicable to the latter class of such corporations because the prohibition has been declared unconstitutional as an interference with interstate commerce.

A decree of this Court must be read in view of the issues made and the relief sought and granted, and a decree declaring a state statute unconstitutional so far as it prohibits, or is a burden upon, interstate commerce will not be construed as preventing the enforcement of such legislation as is legitimately within the police power of the state and not in conflict with the federal Constitution.

172 F.5d 5 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of the decree entered in this case and reported in 221 U. S. 229, are stated in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 224 U. S. 218

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