QUARANTINE LAWS, 2/7
not overridden by the national Constitution.*' ^ It is even said that since "the States have not surrendered, but have reserved the power, to protect, by police regulations, the health, morals, and safety of their people, Congress may not prescribe any rule to govern commerce among the States which prevents the proper and reasonable exercise of this reserved power." ^ It is. maintained that the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce had not been exercised over this subject ; that nothing short of a posi- tive enactment of Congress ought to be construed as taking away a part of the police power of the States. While there may be room for doubt whether the inaction of Congress was rightly con- strued by the court, one can hardly subscribe to the language above quoted, which seems to lead to the conclusion that the powers granted to Congress by the Constitution, by its own terms, " the supreme law of the land," are controlled by the police pow- ers of the States, where the public health, morals, or safety are involved. This seems to be an inversion of the true view, which regards each of the powers granted to the General Government as supreme in its peculiar sphere, and in so far controlling the re- served powers of the States. To find the limitations on the pow- ers of Congress, we are to look, not to the legislation of the States, but to the Constitution.
The limitations upon the police power, that a State cannot in its exercise enter the domain of legislation which, under the Con- stitution, exclusively belongs to Congress, or violate the prohibi- tions of the Constitution upon the States, operates upon the other reserved powers of the States as well. For instance, a State can- not, in the exercise of its power of taxation, regulate foreign or interstate commerce.^ As was said in Robbins v, Shelby Taxing District* (the "Drummer Tax Case"), "Interstate commerce cannot be taxed at all, even though the same amount of tax should be laid on domestic commerce, or that which is carried on solely within the State." Indeed, the cases just cited seem to lay down a riile that a State cannot for any purpose pass a law which oper-
»8 Sup. Ct. Rep. 712; 125 U. S. 519.
as Sup. Ct. Rep. 712; 125 U. S. 520.
•Case of State Freight Tax, 15 Wall. 282 (1872); Robbins v, Shelby Taxing Dis- trict, 120 U. S. 489, 497 (1887); Phila. Steamship Co. v, Pennsylvania, 122 U. S. 326 (1887). See also Brown v. Houston, 114 U. S. 622, 630 (1884).
- 120U. 5.489,497(1887).