InHughesv. Oklahoma,the former endorsed laws which prohibited individuals from tradingminnows obtained from the state’s waters outside Oklahoma (Axline,1981). Themain aim of the law according to Oklahoma was to conserve wildlife.However, the Supreme Court ruled against the statute claiming that itinfringed the Dormant Commerce Clause (Hellerstein,1979).It based its argument on the reason that the statute discriminatedagainst commerce amongst states, and it failed to offer alternativeson the same. Although a state may attempt to enhance wildlifeconservation and protection, it should do so in a manner that isconsistent with the fundamental standard that the nation is therelevant economic unit (Meinerset al. 2014). Incases where wild animals are aspects of trade, their uses must beaccessed by all citizens in all states. This implies that thereshould not be any limitations or exclusions in trade. The statutecould only be maintained if it served a major local interest whichcould not be promoted by non-discriminatory statute. In order toattain a similar outcome of conserving the minnows and at the sametime protecting interstate commerce, the state could have ensuredthat the law applied both to its citizens and citizens of otherstates. The state could have put a limitation on the numbers in whicha licensed minnow trader could take at a specific time both withinand outside the state.
Itwould not be a reasonable compromise of getting other states toconsent on a limitation on the interstate shipment of minnows withthe intention of assisting them safeguards their resources. This isbased on the reason that it discriminates commerce amongst states byprohibiting the sale of natural minnows to other states. This clearlyblocks the free flow of commerce between states. In this case, thereis no strong justification and besides there exists alternatives tothe statute which are less discriminatory.
Axline,M. D. (1981). The end of a wildlife Era: . OregonLaw Review60: 413.
Hellerstein,W, (1979). : The Court, the commerce clause, andstate control of natural resources. TheSupreme Court Review1979: 51–93.
Meiners,R. E., Ringleb, A. H. & Edwards, F. (2014). TheLegal environment of business,(12th ed.). New York: Cengage Learning.