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Ogden's attorneys argued:

  • The Court should interpret "commerce" narrowly.
  • New York, as a sovereign state, was entitled to regulate commerce within its borders.
  • New York had the right to grant Ogden an exclusive legal franchise in Hudson Bay and New York Harbor, which were both under the purview of the state.
  • Anyone who wanted to operate a steamboat in New York water had to pay for the privilege.
  • New York laws did not interfere with the federal government's right to regulate commerce.
  • New York and the federal government had concurrent power over commerce.

Gibbons' attorneys argued:

  • Gibbons' boats were properly enrolled and licensed by the federal government, pursuant to a Congressional Act, "An act for enrolling and licensing ships and vessels to be employed in the coasting trade and fisheries, and for regulating the same" (1793).
  • The federal license included the disputed area between Elizabethtown and New York City.
  • New York's state laws were repugnant to the US Constitution (unconstitutional).
  • The Constitution's Interstate Commerce Clause authorized Congress to regulate commerce between states.
  • The Constitution authorized Congress to promote the progress of science and useful arts.

Case Citation:

Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 US 1 (1824)

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Q: What were the arguments on both sides of Gibbons v Ogden?
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