designs, and to construe their legislation as of a sinister character, which they never contemplated.” This language seems to make the object or purpose of a law the criterion of the sovereign power to which it is to be ascribed, and fully to harmonize with the principles laid down in Gibbons v. Ogden.
In the Passenger Cases, 7 How. 283, the validity of laws of Massachusetts and New York, imposing a tax upon every non-resident passenger landed within the State from every vessel arriving from a port of some other State or country, was involved. It was held by a divided Court, five judges against four, that the laws in question were invalid. All of the judges who delivered separate opinions in the License Cases delivered separate opinions in the Passenger Cases; and, in addition, Wayne and McKinley, JJ., who delivered no separate opinions in the former case, delivered separate opinions in the latter. The opinions in the Passenger Cases are substantially similar to the opinions delivered by the same judges in the License Cases, in as far as their general reasoning upon the question of “concurrency” or “exclusiveness” of the commercial powers of Congress is concerned. McLean, J., held that the laws were regulations of foreign and interstate commerce, that the power to regulate such commerce was “exclusive” in Congress, and that the laws were, consequently, unconstitutional. Wayne, J., favored the views of McLean, J., but preferred to rest his opinion that the laws were invalid upon the ground that they were in conflict with provisions of certain Federal laws and treaties. This opinion was substantially concurred in by Catron, McKinley, and Grier, JJ. Taney, C. J., upheld the validity of the laws chiefly upon the ground that the right of the States to determine what persons should be admitted within their boundaries was paramount to any Federal powers conferred by the Constitution, and that the right to impose a tax upon all persons admitted into the State was included in this right. He also took occasion to reiterate the views expressed by him in the License Cases as to the “concurrency” of the commercial powers of Congress. Daniel, J., was of opinion that the laws were not regulations of foreign or interstate commerce, and hence were not unconstitutional, even assuming the commercial powers of Congress to be exclusive. He was also of opinion that they did not conflict with any Federal laws or treaties.
By far the most able opinion delivered in the case was the