Passenger Cases

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Smith v. Turner and Norris v. Boston, 48 U.S. 283 (1849).

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  • The court overturned state laws that imposed landing fees on alien passengers.
  • The fees were intended to support alien indigents, but the Court considered them a regulation of foreign commerce or an import duty.
  • Dissent (Taney): Each state has the exclusive power to determine who may be admitted to reside within the state.
  • The commerce power does not forbid the states from excluding aliens or other undesireables.