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S.C. Highway Dept. v. Barnwell Bros., 303 U.S. 177 (1938)

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American Government

S.C. Highway Dept. v. Barnwell Bros., 303 U.S. 177 (1938)
United States Supreme Court

From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
 
Case:   S.C. HWY. DEPT. V. BARNWELL BROS.

Case #: 303US177


NO. 161.  ARGUED JANUARY 4, 1938.  - DECIDED FEBRUARY 14, 1938.  - 17
F.(2D) 803, REVERSED. 


1.  IN THE ABSENCE OF NATIONAL LEGISLATION COVERING THE SUBJECT IN ITS
RELATION TO INTERSTATE COMMERCE, A STATE, IN ORDER TO CONSERVE ITS
HIGHWAYS AND PROMOTE SAFETY THEREON, MAY ADOPT REGULATIONS LIMITING THE
WEIGHT AND WIDTH OF THE VEHICLES THAT USE THEM, APPLICABLE WITHOUT
DISCRIMINATION TO THOSE MOVING IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE AND TO THOSE
MOVING ONLY WITHIN THE STAE.  P. 184. 

2.  SUCH REGULATIONS BEING, IN GENERAL, WITHIN THE COMPETENCY OF THE
STATE, JUDICIAL INQUIRY INTO THEIR VALIDITY, UNDER THE COMMERCE CLAUSE
AS WELL AS UNDER THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT, IS LIMITED TO THE QUESTION
WHETHER THE RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED ARE REASONABLY ADAPTED TO THE END
SOUGHT.  P. 190. 

IN RESOLVING THIS QUESTION, THE COURT CAN NOT ACT AS CONGRESS DOES
WHEN, AFTER WEIGHING ALL THE CONFLICTING INTERESTS, STATE AND NATIONAL,
IT DETERMINES WHEN AND HOW MUCH THE STATE REGULATORY POWER SHALL YIELD
TO THE LARGER INTERESTS OF A NATIONAL COMMERCE; NOR IS IT CALLED UPON,
AS ARE STATE LEGISLATURES, TO DETERMINE WHAT, IN ITS JUDGMENT, IS THE
MOST SUITABLE RESTRICTION TO BE APPLIED OF THOSE THAT ARE POSSIBLE, OR
TO CHOOSE THAT ONE WHICH IN ITS OPINION IS BEST ADAPTED TO ALL THE
DIVERSE INTERESTS AFFECTED. 

3.  A SOUTH CAROLINA STATUTE PROHIBITS USE ON THE STATE HIGHWAYS OF
MOTOR TRUCKS AND "SEMI-TRAILER" MOTOR TRUCKS WIDER THAN 90 INCHES OR
HEAVIER, INCLUDING LOAD, THAN 20,000 LBS.  A FEDERAL COURT ENJOINED ITS
ENFORCEMENT ON SPECIFIED HIGHWAYS AS TO VEHICLES ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE
COMMERCE.  IT FOUND THAT MUCH OF THE INTERSTATE MOTOR-TRUCK TRAFFIC
NORMALLY PASSING OVER THESE HIGHWAYS WOULD BE BARRED FROM THE STATE IF
THE RESTRICTIONS WERE ENFORCED, AND CONCLUDED, THAT, IN THE LIGHT OF
THEIR EFFECT UPON INTERSTATE COMMERCE, THE RESTRICTIONS WERE
UNREASONABLE.  TO REACH THIS CONCLUSION, THE COURT WEIGHED CONFLICTING
EVIDENCE AND MADE ITS OWN DETERMINATIONS AS TO THE WEIGHT AND WIDTH OF
MOTOR TRUCKS COMMONLY USED IN INTERSTATE TRAFFIC AND THE CAPACITY OF
THE SPECIFIED HIGHWAYS TO ACCOMMODATE SUCH TRAFFIC WITHOUT INJURY TO
THEM OR DANGER TO THEIR USERS.  IT FOUND, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT
INTERSTATE CARRIAGE BY MOTOR TRUCK HAS BECOME A NATIONAL INDUSTRY; THAT
A VERY LARGE PROPORTION OF THE TRUCKS USED IN INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION
ARE 96 INCHES WIDE AND OF GROSS WEIGHT, WHEN LOADED, OF MORE THAN 10
TONS; THAT THE SPECIFIED HIGHWAYS CONSTITUTE A CONNECTED SYSTEM,
IMPROVED WITH THE AID OF FEDERAL MONEY GRANTS, AS A PART OF A NATIONAL
SYSTEM; THAT NOT GROSS WEIGHT BUT WHEEL OR AXLE WEIGHT, IS THE FACTOR
TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE PRESERVATION OF CONCRETE HIGHWAYS; THAT THE
VEHICLES USED IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE ARE SO DESIGNED AND THE PRESSURE
OF THEIR WEIGHT IS SO DISTRIBUTED BY THEIR WHEELS AND AXLES THAT GROSS
LOADS OF MORE THAN 20,000 LBS. CAN BE CARRIED OVER CONCRETE ROADS
WITHOUT DAMAGE TO THE SURFACE; THAT THE HIGHWAYS IN QUESTION COULD
SUSTAIN WITHOUT INJURY A WHEEL LOAD OF FROM 8000 TO 9000 LBS, OR AN
AXLE LOAD OF DOUBLE THOSE WEIGHTS; THAT THE WEIGHT LIMITATION OF THE
STATUTE, ESPECIALLY AS APPLIED TO SEMI-TRAILER MOTOR TRUCKS, IS
UNREASONABLE AS A MEANS OF PRESERVING THE HIGHWAYS AND HAS NO
REASONABLE RELATION TO SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC USING THEM; AND THAT THE
WIDTH LIMITATION OF 90 INCHES IS UNREASONABLE WHEN APPLIED TO STANDARD
CONCRETE HIGHWAYS OF THE STATE, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT ALL OTHER
STATES PERMIT A WIDTH OF 96 INCHES, WHICH IS THE STANDARD WIDTH OF
TRUCKS ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE.  HELD: 

(1)  THAT SINCE THE ADOPTION OF ONE WEIGHT OR WIDTH REGULATION RATHER
THAN ANOTHER IS A LEGISLATIVE NOT A JUDICIAL CHOICE, CONSTITUTIONALITY
IS NOT TO BE DETERMINED BY WEIGHING IN THE JUDICIAL SCALES THE MERITS
OF THE LEGISLATIVE CHOICE AND REJECTING IT IF THE WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE
PRESENTED IN COURT APPEARS TO FAVOR A DIFFERENT STANDARD.  P. 191. 

(2)  THE LEGISLATIVE JUDGMENT IS PRESUMED TO BE SUPPORTED BY FACTS
KNOWN TO THE LEGISLATURE UNLESS FACTS JUDICIALLY KNOWN OR PROVED
PRECLUDE THAT POSSIBILITY.  ID. 

(3)  IN REVIEWING THE PRESENT DETERMINATION, THIS COURT MUST EXAMINE
THE RECORD, NOT TO SEE WHETHER THE FINDINGS OF THE COURT BELOW ARE
SUPPORTED BY EVIDENCE, BUT TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER IT IS POSSIBLE TO SAY
THAT THE LEGISLATIVE CHOICE IS WITHOUT RATIONAL BASIS.  ID. 

(4)  NOT ONLY DOES THE RECORD FAIL TO EXCLUDE THAT POSSIBILITY, BUT
IT SHOWS AFFIRMATIVELY THAT THERE IS ADEQUATE SUPPORT FOR THE
LEGISLATIVE JUDGMENT.  PP. 192 ET SEQ. 

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT ET AL. V. BARNWELL BROTHERS,
INC., ET AL. 

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EASTERN
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 

APPEAL FROM A FINAL DECREE OF A DISTRICT COURT OF THREE JUDGES WHICH
ENJOINED THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT, THE STATE PUBLIC
SERVICE COMMISSION AND NUMEROUS STATE OFFICERS, FROM ENFORCING, AS
AGAINST THE PLAINTIFFS WHILE ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE ON CERTAIN
SPECIFIED HIGHWAYS, A STATUTE LIMITING THE WEIGHT AND WIDTH OF MOTOR
TRUCKS AND "SEMI-TRAILER" TRUCKS.  THERE WAS A PROVISION IN THE DECREE
THAT THE INJUNCTION SHOULD NOT EXTEND TO BRIDGES NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO
SUPPORT HEAVY TRUCKS OR TOO NARROW TO ACCOMMODATE SUCH TRAFFIC SAFELY,
WITH A PROVISO THAT THE STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT SHOULD POST CERTAIN
WARNING NOTICES AT SUCH BRIDGES, AND SHOULD ENFORCE THE LAW AGAINST
THEIR USE BY SUCH TRUCKS.  THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION AND TWO
PRIVATE CORPORATIONS WERE PERMITTED TO INTERVENE AS PLAINTIFFS, AND TWO
RAILROAD COMPANIES AND THE RECEIVER OF ANOTHER WERE PERMITTED TO
INTERVENE AS DEFENDANTS. 

MR. JUSTICE STONE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT. 

ACT NO. 259 OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, OF APRIL 28,
1933, 38 STAT. 340, PROHIBITS USE ON THE STATE HIGHWAYS OF MOTOR TRUCKS
AND "SEMI-TRAILER MOTOR TRUCKS" WHOSE WIDTH EXCEEDS 90 INCHES, AND
WHOSE WEIGHT INCLUDING LOAD EXCEEDS 20,000 POUNDS.  FOR PURPOSES OF THE
WEIGHT LIMITATION SEC. 2 OF THE STATUTE PROVIDES THAT A SEMITRAILER
MOTOR TRUCK, WHICH IS A MOTOR PROPELLED TRUCK WITH A TRAILER WHOSE
FRONT END IS DESIGNED TO BE ATTACHED TO AND SUPPORTED BY THE TRUCK,
SHALL BE CONSIDERED A SINGLE UNIT.  THE PRINCIPAL QUESTION FOR DECISION
IS WHETHER THESE PROHIBITIONS IMPOSE AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL BURDEN UPON
INTERSTATE COMMERCE. 

APPELLEES INCLUDE THE ORIGINAL PLAINTIFFS BELOW, WHO ARE TRUCKERS AND
INTERSTATE SHIPPERS; THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION; AND CERTAIN
OTHERS WHO WERE PERMITTED TO INTERVENE AS PARTIES PLAINTIFF.  THE SUIT
WAS BROUGHT IN THE DISTRICT COURT FOR EASTERN SOUTH CAROLINA AGAINST
VARIOUS STATE OFFICIALS, TO ENJOIN THEM FROM ENFORCING SECS. 4 AND 6 OF
THE ACT AMONG OTHERS,  FN1 ON THE GROUND THAT THEY HAVE BEEN SUPERSEDED
BY THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER ACT OF 1935, C. 498, 49 STAT. 546; THAT
THEY INFRINGE THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT; AND
THAT THEY IMPOSE AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL BURDEN ON INTERSTATE COMMERCE. 
CERTAIN RAILROADS INTERESTED IN RESTRICTING THE COMPETITION OF
INTERSTATE MOTOR CARRIERS WERE PERMITTED TO INTERVENE AS PARTIES
DEFENDANT. 

THE DISTRICT COURT OF THREE JUDGES, AFTER HEARING EVIDENCE, RULED
THAT THE CHALLENGED PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE HAVE NOT BEEN SUPERSEDED
BY THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER ACT, AND ADOPTED AS ITS OWN THE RULING OF
THE STATE SUPREME COURT IN STATE EX REL. DANIEL V. JOHN P. NUTT CO.,
180 S.C. 19; 185 S.E. 25, THAT THE CHALLENGED PROVISIONS, BEING AN
EXERCISE OF THE STATE'S POWER TO REGULATE THE USE OF ITS HIGHWAYS SO AS
TO PROTECT THEM FROM INJURY AND TO INSURE THEIR SAFE AND ECONOMICAL
USE, DO NOT VIOLATE THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT.  BUT IT HELD THAT THE
WEIGHT AND WIDTH PROHIBITIONS PLACE AN UNLAWFUL BURDEN ON INTERSTATE
MOTOR TRAFFIC PASSING OVER SPECIFIED HIGHWAYS OF THE STATE, WHICH FOR
THE MOST PART ARE OF CONCRETE OR A CONCRETE BASE SURFACED WITH
ASPHALT.  IT ACCORDINGLY ENJOINED THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE WEIGHT
PROVISION AGAINST INTERSTATE MOTOR CARRIERS ON THE SPECIFIED HIGHWAYS,
AND ALSO THE WIDTH LIMITATION OF 90 INCHES, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF
VEHICLES EXCEEDING 96 INCHES IN WIDTH.  IT EXEMPTED FROM THE OPERATION
OF THE DECREE, BRIDGES ON THOSE HIGHWAYS "NOT CONSTRUCTED WITH
SUFFICIENT STRENGTH TO SUPPORT THE HEAVY TRUCKS OF MODERN TRAFFIC OR
TOO NARROW TO ACCOMMODATE SUCH TRAFFIC SAFELY," PROVIDED THE STATE
HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT SHOULD PLACE AT EACH END OF THE BRIDGE PROPER
NOTICES WARNING THAT THE USE OF THE BRIDGE IS FORBIDDEN BY TRUCKS
EXCEEDING THE WEIGHT OR WIDTH LIMITS AND PROVIDED THE PROPER
AUTHORITIES TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS TO ENFORCE THE LAW AGAINST SUCH
USE OF THE BRIDGES.  THE CASE COMES HERE ON APPEAL UNDER SEC. 266 OF
THE JUDICIAL CODE. 

THE TRIAL COURT RESTED ITS DECISION THAT THE STATUTE UNREASONABLY
BURDENS INTERSTATE COMMERCE, UPON FINDINGS, NOT ASSAILED HERE, THAT
THERE IS A LARGE AMOUNT OF MOTOR TRUCK TRAFFIC PASSING INTERSTATE IN
THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE UNITED STATES, WHICH WOULD NORMALLY PASS
OVER THE HIGHWAYS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, BUT WHICH WILL BE BARRED FROM THE
STATE BY THE CHALLENGED RESTRICTIONS IF ENFORCED, AND UPON ITS
CONCLUSION THAT, WHEN VIEWED IN THE LIGHT OF THEIR EFFECT UPON
INTERSTATE COMMERCE, THESE RESTRICTIONS ARE UNREASONABLE. 

TO REACH THIS CONCLUSION THE COURT WEIGHED CONFLICTING EVIDENCE AND
MADE ITS OWN DETERMINATIONS AS TO THE WEIGHT AND WIDTH OF MOTOR TRUCKS
COMMONLY USED IN INTERSTATE TRAFFIC AND THE CAPACITY OF THE SPECIFIED
HIGHWAYS OF THE STATE TO ACCOMMODATE SUCH TRAFFIC WITHOUT INJURY TO
THEM OR DANGER TO THEIR USERS.  IT FOUND THAT INTERSTATE CARRIAGE BY
MOTOR TRUCKS HAS BECOME A NATIONAL INDUSTRY; THAT FROM 85 TO 90% OF THE
MOTOR TRUCKS USED IN INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION ARE 96 INCHES WIDE AND
OF A GROSS WEIGHT, WHEN LOADED, OF MORE THAN TEN TONS; THAT ONLY FOUR
OTHER STATES PRESCRIBE A GROSS LOAD WEIGHT AS LOW AS 20,000 POUNDS; AND
THAT THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY OFFICIALS AND THE
NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON STREET AND HIGHWAY SAFETY IN THE DEPARTMENT OF
COMMERCE HAVE RECOMMENDED FOR ADOPTION WEIGHT AND WIDTH LIMITATIONS IN
WHICH WEIGHT IS LIMITED TO AXLE LOADS OF 16,000 TO 18,000 POUNDS AND
WIDTH IS LIMITED TO 96 INCHES. 

IT FOUND IN DETAIL THAT COMPLIANCE WITH THE WEIGHT AND WIDTH
LIMITATIONS DEMANDED BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA ACT WOULD SERIOUSLY IMPEDE
MOTOR TRUCK TRAFFIC PASSING TO AND THROUGH THE STATE AND INCREASE ITS
COST; THAT 2,417 MILES OF STATE HIGHWAYS, INCLUDING MOST OF THOSE
AFFECTED BY THE INJUNCTION, ARE OF THE STANDARD CONSTRUCTION OF
CONCRETE OR CONCRETE BASE WITH ASPHALT SURFACE, 7 1/2 OR 8 INCHES THICK
AT THE EDGES AND 6 OR 6 1/2 INCHES THICK AT THE CENTER; THAT THEY ARE
CAPABLE OF SUSTAINING WITHOUT INJURY A WHEEL LOAD OF 8,000 TO 9,000
POUNDS OR AN AXLE LOAD OF DOUBLE THOSE AMOUNTS, DEPENDING ON WHETHER
THE WHEELS ARE EQUIPPED WITH HIGH PRESSURE OR LOW PRESSURE PNEUMATIC
TIRES; THAT ALL BUT 100 MILES OF THE SPECIFIED HIGHWAYS ARE FROM 18 TO
20 FEET IN WIDTH; THAT THEY CONSTITUTE A CONNECTED SYSTEM OF HIGHWAYS
WHICH HAVE BEEN IMPROVED WITH THE AID OF FEDERAL MONEY GRANTS, AS A
PART OF A NATIONAL SYSTEM OF HIGHWAYS; AND THAT THEY CONSTITUTE ONE OF
THE BEST HIGHWAY SYSTEMS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE UNITED
STATES. 

IT ALSO FOUND THAT THE GROSS WEIGHT OF VEHICLES IS NOT A FACTOR TO BE
CONSIDERED IN THE PRESERVATION OF CONCRETE HIGHWAYS, BUT THAT THE
APPROPRIATE FACTOR TO BE CONSIDERED IS WHEEL OR AXLE WEIGHT; THE
VEHICLES ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE ARE SO DESIGNED AND THE
PRESSURE OF THEIR WEIGHT IS SO DISTRIBUTED BY THEIR WHEELS AND AXLES
THAT GROSS LOADS OF MORE THAN 20,000 POUNDS CAN BE CARRIED OVER
CONCRETE ROADS WITHOUT DAMAGE TO THE SURFACE; THAT A GROSS WEIGHT
LIMITATION OF THAT AMOUNT, ESPECIALLY AS APPLIED TO SEMI-TRAILER MOTOR
TRUCKS, IS UNREASONABLE AS A MEANS OF PRESERVING THE HIGHWAYS; THAT IT
HAS NO REASONABLE RELATION TO SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC USING THE HIGHWAYS;
AND THAT THE WIDTH LIMITATION OF 90 INCHES IS UNREASONABLE WHEN APPLIED
TO STANDARD CONCRETE HIGHWAYS OF THE STATE, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT
ALL OTHER STATES PERMIT A WIDTH OF 96 INCHES, WHICH IS THE STANDARD
WIDTH OF TRUCKS ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE. 

IN REACHING THESE CONCLUSIONS, AND AT THE SAME TIME HOLDING THAT THE
WEIGHT AND WIDTH LIMITATIONS DO NOT INFRINGE THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT,
THE COURT PROCEEDED UPON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE COMMERCE CLAUSE
IMPOSES UPON STATE REGULATIONS TO SECURE THE SAFE AND ECONOMICAL USE OF
HIGHWAYS A STANDARD OF REASONABLENESS WHICH IS MORE EXACTING WHEN
APPLIED TO THE INTERSTATE TRAFFIC THAN THAT REQUIRED BY THE FOURTEENTH
AMENDMENT AS TO ALL TRAFFIC; THAT A STANDARD OF WEIGHT AND WIDTH OF
MOTOR VEHICLES WHICH IS AN APPROPRIATE STATE REGULATION WHEN APPLIED TO
INTRASTATE TRAFFIC MAY BE PROHIBITED BECAUSE OF ITS EFFECT ON
INTERSTATE COMMERCE, ALTHOUGH THE CONDITIONS ATTENDING THE TWO CLASSES
OF TRAFFIC WITH RESPECT TO SAFETY AND PROTECTION OF THE HIGHWAYS ARE
THE SAME. 

SOUTH CAROLINA HAS BUILT ITS HIGHWAYS AND OWNS AND MAINTAINS THEM. 
IT HAS RECEIVED FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, IN AID OF ITS HIGHWAY
IMPROVEMENTS, MONEY GRANTS WHICH HAVE BEEN EXPENDED UPON THE HIGHWAYS
TO WHICH THE INJUNCTION APPLIES.  BUT APPELLEES DO NOT CHALLENGE HERE
THE RULING OF THE DISTRICT COURT THAT CONGRESS HAS NOT UNDERTAKEN TO
REGULATE THE WEIGHT AND SIZE OF MOTOR VEHICLES IN INTERSTATE MOTOR
TRAFFIC, AND HAS LEFT UNDISTURBED WHATEVER AUTHORITY IN THAT REGARD THE
STATES HAVE RETAINED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. 

WHILE THE CONSTITUTIONAL GRANT TO CONGRESS OF POWER TO REGULATE
INTERSTATE COMMERCE HAS BEEN HELD TO OPERATE OF ITS OWN FORCE TO
CURTAIL STATE POWER IN SOME MEASURE,  FN2  IT DID NOT FORESTALL ALL
STATE ACTION AFFECTING INTERSTATE COMMERCE.  EVER SINCE WILLSON V.
BLACK BIRD CREEK MARSH CO., 2 PET. 245, AND COOLEY V. BOARD OF PORT
WARDENS, 12 HOW.  299, IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT THERE ARE MATTERS OF
LOCAL CONCERN, THE REGULATION OF WHICH UNAVOIDABLY INVOLVES SOME
REGULATION OF INTERSTATE COMMERCE BUT WHICH, BECAUSE OF THEIR LOCAL
CHARACTER AND THEIR NUMBER AND DIVERSITY, MAY NEVER BE FULLY DEALT WITH
BY CONGRESS.  NOTHWITHSTANDING THE COMMERCE CLAUSE, SUCH REGULATION IN
THE ABSENCE OF CONGRESSIONAL ACTION HAS FOR THE MOST PART BEEN LEFT TO
THE STATES BY THE DECISIONS OF THIS COURT, SUBJECT TO THE OTHER
APPLICABLE CONSTITUTIONAL RESTRAINTS. 

THE COMMERCE CLAUSE, BY ITS OWN FORCE, PROHIBITS DISCRIMINATION
AGAINST INTERSTATE COMMERCE, WHATEVER ITS FORM OR METHOD, AND THE
DECISIONS OF THIS COURT HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT THERE IS SCOPE FOR ITS
LIKE OPERATION WHEN STATE LEGISLATION NOMINALLY OF LOCAL CONCERN IS IN
POINT OF FACT AIMED AT INTERSTATE COMMERCE, OR BY ITS NECESSARY
OPERATION IS A MEANS OF GAINING A LOCAL BENEFIT BY THROWING THE
ATTENDANT BURDENS ON THOSE WITHOUT THE STATE.  ROBBINS V. SHELBY COUNTY
TAXING DISTRICT, 120 U.S. 489, 498; CALDWELL V. NORTH CAROLINA, 187
U.S. 622, 626.  FN3  IT WAS TO END THESE PRACTICES THAT THE COMMERCE
CLAUSE WAS ADOPTED.  SEE GIBBONS V. OGDEN, 9 WHEAT.  1, 187; BROWN V.
MARYLAND, 12 WHEAT.  419, 438-439; COOLEY V. BOARD OF PORT WARDENS,
SUPRA; STATE FREIGHT TAX, 15 WALL.  232, 280; STATE TAX ON RAILWAY
GROSS RECEIPTS, 15 WALL.  284, 289, 297-298; COOK V. PENNSYLVANIA, 97
U.S. 566, 574; MAINE V. GRAND TRUNK R. CO., 142 U.S. 217; BALDWIN V.
SEELIG, 294 U.S. 511, 522; II FARRAND, RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL
CONVENTION, 308; III ID. 478, 574, 548; THE FEDERALIST, NO. XLII; 1
CURTIS, HISTORY OF THE CONSTITUTION, 502; STORY ON THE CONSTITUTION,
SEC. 259.  THE COMMERCE CLAUSE HAS ALSO BEEN THOUGHT TO SET ITS OWN
LIMITATION UPON STATE CONTROL OF INTERSTATE RAIL CARRIERS SO AS TO
PRECLUDE THE SUBORDINATION OF THE EFFICIENCY AND CONVENIENCE OF
INTERSTATE TRAFFIC TO LOCAL SERVICE REQUIREMENTS.  FN4 

BUT THE PRESENT CASE AFFORDS NO OCCASION FOR SAYING THAT THE BARE
POSSESSION OF POWER BY CONGRESS TO REGULATE THE INTERSTATE TRAFFIC
FORCES THE STATES TO CONFORM TO STANDARDS WHICH CONGRESS MIGHT, BUT HAS
NOT ADOPTED, OR CURTAILS THEIR POWER TO TAKE MEASURES TO INSURE THE
SAFETY AND CONSERVATION OF THEIR HIGHWAYS WHICH MAY BE APPLIED TO LIKE
TRAFFIC MOVING INTRASTATE.  FEW SUBJECTS OF STATE REGULATION ARE SO
PECULIARLY OF LOCAL CONCERN AS IS THE USE OF STATE HIGHWAYS.  THERE ARE
FEW, LOCAL REGULATION OF WHICH IS SO INSEPARABLE FROM A SUBSTANTIAL
EFFECT ON INTERSTATE COMMERCE.  UNLIKE THE RAILROADS, LOCAL HIGHWAYS
ARE BUILT, OWNED AND MAINTAINED BY THE STATE OR ITS MUNICIPAL
SUBDIVISIONS.  THE STATE HAS A PRIMARY AND IMMEDIATE CONCERN IN THEIR
SAFE AND ECONOMICAL ADMINISTRATION.  THE PRESENT REGULATIONS, OR ANY
OTHERS OF LIKE PURPOSE, IF THEY ARE TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR END, MUST BE
APPLIED ALIKE TO INTERSTATE AND INTRASTATE TRAFFIC BOTH MOVING IN LARGE
VOLUME OVER THE HIGHWAYS.  THE FACT THAT THEY AFFECT ALIKE SHIPPERS IN
INTERSTATE AND INTRASTATE COMMERCE IN LARGE NUMBER WITHIN AS WELL AS
WITHOUT THE STATE IS A SAFEGUARD AGAINST THEIR ABUSE. 

FROM THE BEGINNING IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT A STATE CAN, IF IT
SEES FIT, BUILD AND MAINTAIN ITS OWN HIGHWAYS, CANALS AND RAILROADS AND
THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF CONGRESSIONAL ACTION THEIR REGULATION IS
PECULIARLY WITHIN ITS COMPETENCE, EVEN THOUGH INTERSTATE COMMERCE IS
MATERIALLY AFFECTED.  MINNESOTA RATE CASES, 230 U.S. 352, 416. 
CONGRESS NOT ACTING, STATE REGULATION OF INTRASTATE CARRIERS HAS BEEN
UPHELD REGARDLESS OF ITS EFFECT UPON INTERSTATE COMMERCE.  ID.  WITH
RESPECT TO THE EXTENT AND NATURE OF THE LOCAL INTERESTS TO BE PROTECTED
AND THE UNAVOIDABLE EFFECT UPON INTERSTATE AND INTRASTATE COMMERCE
ALIKE, REGULATIONS OF THE USE OF THE HIGHWAYS ARE AKIN TO LOCAL
REGULATION OF RIVERS, HARBORS, PIERS AND DOCKS, QUARANTINE REGULATIONS,
AND GAME LAWS, WHICH, CONGRESS NOT ACTING, HAVE BEEN SUSTAINED EVEN
THOUGH THEY MATERIALLY INTERFERE WITH INTERSTATE COMMERCE.  FN5    THE
NATURE OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OVER ITS OWN HIGHWAYS HAS OFTEN
BEEN POINTED OUT BY THIS COURT.  IT MAY NOT, UNDER THE GUISE OF
REGULATION, DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INTERSTATE COMMERCE.  BUT "IN THE
ABSENCE OF NATIONAL LEGISLATION ESPECIALLY COVERING THE SUBJECT OF
INTERSTATE COMMERCE, THE STATE MAY RIGHTLY PRESCRIBE UNIFORM
REGULATIONS ADAPTED TO PROMOTE SAFETY UPON ITS HIGHWAYS AND THE
CONSERVATION OF THEIR USE, APPLICABLE ALIKE TO VEHICLES MOVING IN
INTERSTATE COMMERCE AND THOSE OF ITS OWN CITIZENS."  MORRIS V. DUBY,
274 U.S. 135, 143.  THIS FORMULATION HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY AFFIRMED,
CLARK V. POOR, 274 U.S. 554, 557; SPROUT V. SOUTH BEND, 277 U.S. 163,
169; SPROLES V. BINFORD, 286 U.S. 374, 389, 390; CF. MORF V. BINGAMAN,
298 U.S. 407, AND NEVER DISAPPROVED.  THIS COURT HAS OFTEN SUSTAINED
THE EXERCISE OF THAT POWER ALTHOUGH IT HAS BURDENED OR IMPEDED
INTERSTATE COMMERCE.  IT HAS UPHELD WEIGHT LIMITATIONS LOWER THAN THOSE
PRESENTLY IMPOSED, APPLIED ALIKE TO MOTOR TRAFFIC MOVING INTERSTATE AND
INTRASTATE.  MORRIS V. DUBY, SUPRA; SPROLES V. BINFORD, SUPRA.
RESTRICTIONS FAVORING PASSENGER TRAFFIC OVER THE CARRIAGE OF INTERSTATE
MERCHANDISE BY TRUCK HAVE BEEN SIMILARLY SUSTAINED, SPROLES V. BINFORD,
SUPRA; BRADLEY V. PUBLIC UTILITIES COMM'N, 289 U.S. 92, AS HAS THE
EXACTION OF A REASONABLE FEE FOR THE USE OF THE HIGHWAYS.  HENDRICK V.
MARYLAND, 235 U.S. 610; KANE V. NEW JERSEY, 242 U.S. 160; INTERSTATE
BUSSES CORP. V. BLODGETT, 276 U.S. 245; MORF V. BINGAMAN, SUPRA; CF.
INGELS V. MORF, 300 U.S. 290. 

IN EACH OF THESE CASES REGULATION INVOLVES A BURDEN ON INTERSTATE
COMMERCE.  BUT SO LONG AS THE STATE ACTION DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE, THE
BURDEN IS ONE WHICH THE CONSTITUTION PERMITS BECAUSE IT IS AN
INSEPARABLE INCIDENT OF THE EXERCISE OF A LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY, WHICH,
UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, HAS BEEN LEFT TO THE STATES. 

CONGRESS, IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS PLENARY POWER TO REGULATE INTERSTATE
COMMERCE, MAY DETERMINE WHETHER THE BURDENS IMPOSED ON IT BY STATE
REGULATION, OTHERWISE PERMISSIBLE, ARE TOO GREAT, AND MAY, BY
LEGISLATION DESIGNED TO SECURE UNIFORMITY OR IN OTHER RESPECTS TO
PROTECT THE NATIONAL INTEREST IN THE COMMERCE, CURTAIL TO SOME EXTENT
THE STATE'S REGULATORY POWER.  BUT THAT IS A LEGISLATIVE, NOT A
JUDICIAL FUNCTION, TO BE PERFORMED IN THE LIGHT OF THE CONGRESSIONAL
JUDGMENT OF WHAT IS APPROPRIATE REGULATION OF INTERSTATE COMMERCE, AND
THE EXTENT TO WHICH, IN THAT FIELD, STATE POWER AND LOCAL INTERESTS
SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO YIELD TO THE NATIONAL AUTHORITY AND INTEREST.  IN
THE ABSENCE OF SUCH LEGISLATION THE JUDICIAL FUNCTION, UNDER THE
COMMERCE CLAUSE AS WELL AS THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT, STOPS WITH THE
INQUIRY WHETHER THE STATE LEGISLATURE IN ADOPTING REGULATIONS SUCH AS
THE PRESENT HAS ACTED WITHIN ITS PROVINCE, AND WHETHER THE MEANS OF
REGULATION CHOSEN ARE REASONABLY ADAPTED TO THE END SOUGHT.  SPROLES V.
BINFORD, SUPRA; STEPHENSON V. BINFORD, 287 U.S. 251, 272. 

HERE THE FIRST INQUIRY HAS ALREADY BEEN RESOLVED BY OUR DECISIONS
THAT A STATE MAY IMPOSE NON-DISCRIMINATORY RESTRICTIONS WITH RESPECT TO
THE CHARACTER OF MOTOR VEHICLES MOVING IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE AS A
SAFETY MEASURE AND AS A MEANS OF SECURING THE ECONOMICAL USE OF ITS
HIGHWAYS.  IN RESOLVING THE SECOND, COURTS DO NOT SIT AS LEGISLATURES,
EITHER STATE OR NATIONAL.  THEY CANNOT ACT AS CONGRESS DOES WHEN, AFTER
WEIGHING ALL THE CONFLICTING INTERESTS, STATE AND NATIONAL, IT
DETERMINES WHEN AND HOW MUCH THE STATE REGULATORY POWER SHALL YIELD TO
THE LARGER INTERESTS OF A NATIONAL COMMERCE.  AND IN REVIEWING A STATE
HIGHWAY REGULATION WHERE CONGRESS HAS NOT ACTED, A COURT IS NOT CALLED
UPON, AS ARE STATE LEGISLATURES, TO DETERMINE WHAT, IN ITS JUDGMENT, IS
THE MOST SUITABLE RESTRICTION TO BE APPLIED OF THOSE THAT ARE POSSIBLE,
OR TO CHOOSE THAT ONE WHICH IN ITS OPINION IS BEST ADAPTED TO ALL THE
DIVERSE INTERESTS AFFECTED.  TRANSPORTATION CO. V. PARKERSBURG, 107
U.S. 691, 695.  WHEN THE ACTION OF A LEGISLATURE IS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF
ITS POWER, FAIRLY DEBATABLE QUESTIONS AS TO ITS REASONABLENESS, WISDOM
AND PROPRIETY ARE NOT FOR THE DETERMINATION OF COURTS, BUT FOR THE
LEGISLATIVE BODY, ON WHICH RESTS THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF
DECISION.  JACOBSON V. MASSACHUSETTS, 197 U.S. 11, 30; LAUREL HILL
CEMETERY V. SAN FRANCISCO, 216 U.S. 358, 365; PRICE V. ILLINOIS, 238
U.S. 446, 451; HADACHECK V. SEBASTIAN, 239 U.S. 394, 408-414; THOMAS
CUSACK CO. V. CHICAGO, 242 U.S. 526, 530; EUCLID V. AMBLER REALTY CO.,
272 U.S. 365, 388; ZAHN V. BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS, 274 U.S. 325, 328;
STANDARD OIL CO. V. MARYSVILLE, 279 U.S. 582, 584.  THIS IS EQUALLY THE
CASE WHEN THE LEGISLATIVE POWER IS ONE WHICH MAY LEGITIMATELY PLACE AN
INCIDENTAL BURDEN ON INTERSTATE COMMERCE.  IT IS NOT ANY THE LESS A
LEGISLATIVE POWER COMMITTED TO THE STATES BECAUSE IT AFFECTS INTERSTATE
COMMERCE, AND COURTS ARE NOT ANY THE MORE ENTITLED, BECAUSE INTERSTATE
COMMERCE IS AFFECTED, TO SUBSTITUTE THEIR OWN FOR THE LEGISLATIVE
JUDGMENT.  MORRIS V. DUBY, SUPRA, 143; SPROLES V. BINFORD, SUPRA, 389,
390; MINNESOTA RATE CASES, SUPRA, 399, 400; SMITH V. ST. LOUIS & S.W.R.
CO., 181 U.S. 248, 257; REID V. COLORADO, 187 U.S. 137, 152; NEW YORK
EX REL. SILZ V. HESTERBERG, 211 U.S. 31, 42, 43. 

SINCE THE ADOPTION OF ONE WEIGHT OR WIDTH REGULATION, RATHER THAN
ANOTHER, IS A LEGISLATIVE NOT A JUDICIAL CHOICE, ITS CONSTITUTIONALITY
IS NOT TO BE DETERMINED BY WEIGHING IN THE JUDICIAL SCALES THE MERITS
OF THE LEGISLATIVE CHOICE AND REJECTING IT IF THE WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE
PRESENTED IN COURT APPEARS TO FAVOR A DIFFERENT STANDARD.  CF.
WORCESTER COUNTY TRUST CO. V. RILEY, 302 U.S. 292, 299.  BEING A
LEGISLATIVE JUDGMENT IT IS PRESUMED TO BE SUPPORTED BY FACTS KNOWN TO
THE LEGISLATURE UNLESS FACTS JUDICIALLY KNOWN OR PROVED PRECLUDE THAT
POSSIBILITY.  HENCE, IN REVIEWING THE PRESENT DETERMINATION WE EXAMINE
THE RECORD, NOT TO SEE WHETHER THE FINDINGS OF THE COURT BELOW ARE
SUPPORTED BY EVIDENCE, BUT TO ASCERTAIN UPON THE WHOLE RECORD WHETHER
IT IS POSSIBLE TO SAY THAT THE LEGISLATIVE CHOICE IS WITHOUT RATIONAL
BASIS.  STANDARD OIL CO. V. MARYSVILLE, SUPRA; BORDEN'S FARM PRODUCTS
CO. V. TEN EYCK, 297 U.S. 251, 263; S.C. 11 F.SUPP.  599, 600.  NOT
ONLY DOES THE RECORD FAIL TO EXCLUDE THAT POSSIBILITY, BUT IT SHOWS
AFFIRMATIVELY THAT THERE IS ADEQUATE SUPPORT FOR THE LEGISLATIVE
JUDGMENT. 

AT THE OUTSET IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT UNDERLYING MUCH OF THE
CONTROVERSY IS THE RELATIVE MERIT OF A GROSS WEIGHT LIMITATION AS
AGAINST AN AXLE OR WHEEL WEIGHT LIMITATION.  WHILE THERE IS EVIDENCE
THAT WEIGHT STRESSES ON CONCRETE ROADS ARE DETERMINED BY WHEEL RATHER
THAN GROSS LOAD WEIGHTS, OTHER ELEMENTS ENTER INTO CHOICE OF THE TYPE
OF WEIGHT LIMITATION.  THERE IS TESTIMONY TO SHOW THAT THE AXLE OR
WHEEL WEIGHT LIMITATION IS THE MORE EASILY ENFORCED THROUGH RESORT TO
WEIGHING DEVICES ADAPTED TO ASCERTAINING READILY THE AXLE OR WHEEL
WEIGHT.  BUT IT APPEARS THAT IN PRACTICE THE WEIGHT OF TRUCK LOADS IS
NOT EVENLY DISTRIBUTED OVER AXLES AND WHEELS; THAT COMMONLY THE LARGER
PART OF THE LOAD - SOMETIMES AS MUCH AS 70 TO 80% - RESTS ON THE REAR
AXLE AND THAT IT IS MUCH EASIER FOR THOSE WHO LOAD TRUCKS TO MAKE
CERTAIN THAT THEY HAVE COMPLIED WITH A GROSS LOAD WEIGHT LIMITATION
THAN WITH AN AXLE OR WHEEL WEIGHT LIMITATION.  WHILE THE REPORT OF THE
NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON STATE AND HIGHWAY SAFETY, ON WHICH THE COURT
BELOW RELIED, SUGGESTED A WHEEL WEIGHT LIMITATION OF 8,000 OR 9,000
POUNDS, IT ALSO SUGGESTED THAT A GROSS WEIGHT LIMITATION MIGHT BE
ADOPTED AND SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE RECOMMENDED WHEEL LIMITATION.  BUT
THE CONFERENCE DECLINED TO FIX THE AMOUNT OF GROSS WEIGHT LIMITATION,
SAYING:  "IN VIEW OF THE VARYING CONDITIONS OF TRAFFIC, AND LACK OF
UNIFORMITY IN HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION IN THE SEVERAL STATES, NO UNIFORM
GROSS-WEIGHT LIMITATIONS ARE HERE RECOMMENDED FOR GENERAL ADOPTION
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY."  THE CHOICE OF A WEIGHT LIMITATION BASED ON
CONVENIENCE OF APPLICATION AND CONSEQUENT LACK OF NEED FOR RIGID
SUPERVISORY ENFORCEMENT IS FOR THE LEGISLATURE, AND WE CANNOT SAY THAT
ITS PREFERENCE FOR THE ONE OVER THE OTHER IS IN ANY SENSE ARBITRARY OR
UNREASONABLE.  THE CHOICE IS NOT TO BE CONDEMNED BECAUSE THE
LEGISLATURE PREFERS A WORKABLE STANDARD, LESS LIKELY TO BE VIOLATED
THAN ANOTHER UNDER WHICH THE VIOLATIONS WILL PROBABLY BE INCREASED BUT
MORE EASILY DETECTED.  IT IS FOR THE LEGISLATURE TO SAY WHETHER THE ONE
TEST OR THE OTHER WILL IN PRACTICAL OPERATION BETTER PROTECT THE
HIGHWAYS FROM THE RISK OF EXCESSIVE LOADS. 

IF GROSS LOAD WEIGHT IS ADOPTED AS THE TEST IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE
PERMISSIBLE LOAD MUST BE SOMEWHAT LIGHTER THAN IF THE AXLE OR WHEEL
WEIGHT TEST WERE APPLIED.  WITH THE LATTER THE GROSS WEIGHT OF A LOADED
MOTOR TRUCK CAN NEVER EXCEED TWICE THE AXLE AND FOUR TIMES THE WHEEL
LIMIT.  BUT THE FACT THAT THE REAR AXLE MAY AND OFTEN DOES SUPPORT AS
MUCH AS 70 OR 80% OF THE GROSS LOAD, WITH WHEEL WEIGHT IN LIKE
PROPORTION, REQUIRES THAT A GROSS LOAD LIMIT BE FIXED AT CONSIDERABLY
LESS THAN FOUR TIMES THE PERMISSIBLE WHEEL LIMIT. 

THERE WAS TESTIMONY BEFORE THE COURT TO SUPPORT ITS CONCLUSION THAT
THE HIGHWAYS IN QUESTION ARE CAPABLE OF SUSTAINING WITHOUT INJURY A
WHEEL LOAD OF 8,000 OR 9,000 POUNDS, THE DIFFERENCE DEPENDING UPON THE
CHARACTER OF THE TIRE IN USE, AS AGAINST A WHEEL LOAD OF AS MUCH AS
8,000 POUNDS, WHICH WOULD BE POSSIBLE UNDER THE STATUTORY LOAD LIMIT OF
20,000 POUNDS AS APPLIED TO MOTOR TRUCKS, AND APPROXIMATES THE AXLE
LIMIT IN ADDITION TO THE GROSS LOAD LIMIT RECOMMENDED BY THE NATIONAL
CONFERENCE ON STREET AND HIGHWAY SAFETY.  MUCH OF THIS TESTIMONY
APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN BASED ON THEORETICAL STRENGTH OF CONCRETE HIGHWAYS
LAID UNDER IDEAL CONDITIONS, AND NONE OF IT WAS BASED ON AN ACTUAL
STUDY OF THE HIGHWAYS OF SOUTH CAROLINA OR OF THE SUBGRADE AND OTHER
ROAD BUILDING CONDITIONS WHICH PREVAIL THERE AND WHICH HAVE A MATERIAL
BEARING ON THE STRENGTH AND DURABILITY OF SUCH HIGHWAYS.  THERE IS
UNCONTRADICTED TESTIMONY THAT APPROXIMATELY 60% OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA
STANDARD PAVED HIGHWAYS IN QUESTION WERE BUILT WITHOUT A LONGITUDINAL
CENTER JOINT WHICH HAS SINCE BECOME STANDARD PRACTICE, THE PORTION OF
THE CONCRETE SURFACE ADJACENT TO THE JOINT BEING STRENGTHENED BY
REINFORCEMENT OR BY INCREASING ITS THICKNESS; AND THAT OWING TO THE
DISTRIBUTION OF THE STRESSES ON CONCRETE ROADS WHEN IN USE, THOSE
WITHOUT A CENTER JOINT HAVE A TENDENCY TO DEVELOP IRREGULAR
LONGITUDINAL CRACKS.  AS THE CONCRETE IN THE CENTER OF SUCH ROADS IS
THINNER THAN THAT AT THE EDGES, THE RESULT IS THAT THE HIGHWAY IS SPLIT
INTO TWO IRREGULAR SEGMENTS, EACH WITH A WEAK INNER EDGE WHICH,
ACCORDING TO THE EXPERT TESTIMONY, IS NOT CAPABLE OF SUPPORTING
INDEFINITELY WHEEL LOADS IN EXCESS OF 4,200 POUNDS. 

THERE IS LITTLE IN THE RECORD TO MARK ANY CONTROLLING DISTINCTION
BETWEEN THE APPLICATION OF THE GROSS LOAD WEIGHT LIMITATION TO THE
MOTOR TRUCK AND TO THE SEMITRAILER MOTOR TRUCK.  THERE IS TESTIMONY
WHICH IS APPLICABLE TO BOTH TYPES OF VEHICLE, THAT IN CASE OF ACCIDENT
THE DANGER FROM THE MOMENTUM OF A COLLIDING VEHICLE INCREASES WITH
GROSS LOAD WEIGHT.  THE RECORD IS WITHOUT CONVINCING EVIDENCE OF THE
ACTUAL DISTRIBUTION, IN PRACTICE, OF THE GROSS LOAD WEIGHT OVER THE
WHEELS AND AXLES OF THE PERMISSIBLE TYPES OF SEMI-TRAILER MOTOR TRUCKS,
BUT THIS DOES NOT ENABLE US TO SAY THAT THE LEGISLATURE WAS WITHOUT
SUBSTANTIAL GROUND FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE RELATIVE ADVANTAGES OF A
GROSS LOAD OVER A WHEEL WEIGHT LIMITATION ARE SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME
FOR THE TWO TYPES, OR THAT IT COULD NOT HAVE CONCLUDED THAT THEY WERE
SO NEARLY ALIKE FOR REGULATORY PURPOSES AS TO JUSTIFY THE ADOPTION OF A
SINGLE STANDARD FOR BOTH, AS A MATTER OF PRACTICAL CONVENIENCE.  EVEN
IF THE LEGISLATURE WERE TO ACCEPT APPELLEES' ASSUMPTION THAT NET LOAD
WEIGHTS ARE, IN PRACTICE, EVENLY DISTRIBUTED OVER THE WHEELS SUPPORTING
THE LOAD OF A PERMISSIBLE SEMI-TRAILER SO THAT WITH THE STATUTORY GROSS
LOAD LIMIT THE LOAD ON THE REAR AXLE WOULD BE ABOUT 8,000 POUNDS IT
MIGHT, AS WE HAVE SEEN, ALSO CONCLUDE THAT THE DANGER POINT WOULD THEN
HAVE BEEN REACHED IN THE CASE OF SOME 1,200 MILES OF CONCRETE STATE
ROADS CONSTRUCTED WITHOUT A CENTER JOINT. 

THESE CONSIDERATIONS, WITH THE PRESUMPTION OF CONSTITUTIONALITY,
AFFORD ADEQUATE SUPPORT FOR THE WEIGHT LIMITATION WITHOUT REFERENCE TO
OTHER ITEMS OF THE TESTIMONY TENDING TO SUPPORT IT. FURTHERMORE, SOUTH
CAROLINA'S OWN EXPERIENCE IS NOT TO BE IGNORED.  BEFORE ADOPTION OF THE
LIMITATION SOUTH CAROLINA HAD HAD EXPERIENCE WITH HIGHER WEIGHT
LIMITS.  IN 1924 IT HAD ADOPTED A COMBINED GROSS WEIGHT LIMIT OF 20,000
POUNDS FOR VEHICLES OF FOUR WHEELS OR LESS, AND AN AXLE WEIGHT LIMIT OF
15,000 POUNDS.  IN 1930 IT HAD ADOPTED A COMBINED GROSS WEIGHT LIMIT OF
12 1/2 TONS WITH A FIVE TON AXLE WEIGHT LIMIT FOR VEHICLES HAVING MORE
THAN TWO AXLES.  ACT NO. 721, 33 STAT. 1182; ACT NO. 685, 36 STAT.
1192, 1193.  IN 1931 IT APPOINTED A COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE MOTOR
TRANSPORTATION IN THE STATE, TO RECOMMEND LEGISLATION, AND TO REPORT IN
1932.  THE PRESENT WEIGHT LIMITATION WAS RECOMMENDED BY THE COMMISSION
AFTER A FULL CONSIDERATION OF RELEVANT DATA, INCLUDING A REPORT BY THE
STATE ENGINEER WHO HAD CONSTRUCTED THE CONCRETE HIGHWAYS OF THE STATE
AND WHO ADVISED A SOMEWHAT LOWER LIMITATION AS NECESSARY FOR THEIR
PRESERVATION.  THE FACT THAT MANY STATES HAVE ADOPTED A DIFFERENT
STANDARD IS NOT PERSUASIVE.  THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH HIGHWAYS MUST
BE BUILT IN THE SEVERAL STATES, THEIR CONSTRUCTION AND THE DEMANDS MADE
UPON THEM, ARE NOT UNIFORM.  THE ROAD BUILDING ART, AS THE RECORD
SHOWS, IS FAR FROM HAVING ATTAINED A SCIENTIFIC CERTAINTY AND
PRECISION, AND SCIENTIFIC PRECISION IS NOT THE CRITERION FOR THE
EXERCISE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL REGULATORY POWER OF THE STATES.  SPROLES
V. BINFORD, SUPRA, 388.  THE LEGISLATURE, BEING FREE TO EXERCISE ITS
OWN JUDGMENT, IS NOT BOUND BY THAT OF OTHER LEGISLATURES.  IT WOULD
HARDLY BE CONTENDED THAT IF ALL THE STATES HAD ADOPTED A SINGLE
STANDARD NONE, IN THE LIGHT OF ITS OWN EXPERIENCE AND IN THE EXERCISE
OF ITS JUDGMENT UPON ALL THE COMPLEX ELEMENTS WHICH ENTER INTO THE
PROBLEM, COULD CHANGE IT.    ONLY A WORD NEED BE SAID AS TO THE WIDTH
LIMITATION.  WHILE A LARGE PART OF THE HIGHWAYS IN QUESTION ARE FROM 18
TO 20 FEET IN WIDTH, APPROXIMATELY 100 MILES ARE ONLY 16 FEET WIDE.  ON
ALL THE USE OF A 96 INCH TRUCK LEAVES BUT A NARROW MARGIN FOR PASSING. 
ON THE ROAD 16 FEET WIDE IT LEAVES NONE.  THE 90 INCH LIMITATION HAS
BEEN IN FORCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA SINCE 1920 AND THE CONCRETE HIGHWAYS
WHICH IT HAS BUILT APPEAR TO BE ADAPTED TO VEHICLES OF THAT WIDTH.  THE
RECORD SHOWS WITHOUT CONTRADICTION THAT THE USE OF HEAVY LOADED TRUCKS
ON THE HIGHWAYS TENDS TO FORCE OTHER TRAFFIC OFF THE CONCRETE SURFACE
ONTO THE SHOULDERS OF THE ROAD ADJOINING ITS EDGES AND TO INCREASE
REPAIR COSTS MATERIALLY.  IT APPEARS ALSO THAT AS THE WIDTH OF TRUCKS
IS INCREASED IT OBSTRUCTS THE VIEW OF THE HIGHWAY, CAUSING MUCH
INCONVENIENCE AND INCREASED HAZARD IN ITS USE.  IT PLAINLY CANNOT BE
SAID THAT THE WIDTH OF TRUCKS USED ON THE HIGHWAYS IN SOUTH CAROLINA IS
UNRELATED TO THEIR SAFETY AND COST OF MAINTENANCE, OR THAT A 90 INCH
WIDTH LIMITATION ADOPTED TO SAFEGUARD THE HIGHWAYS OF THE STATE, IS NOT
WITHIN THE RANGE OF THE PERMISSIBLE LEGISLATIVE CHOICE. 

THE REGULATORY MEASURES TAKEN BY SOUTH CAROLINA ARE WITHIN ITS
LEGISLATIVE POWER.  THEY DO NOT INFRINGE THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT, AND
THE RESULTING BURDEN ON INTERSTATE COMMERCE IS NOT FORBIDDEN. 
REVERSED. 

FN1  "SEC.  4.  WEIGHT.  - NO PERSON SHALL OPERATE ON ANY HIGHWAY ANY
MOTOR TRUCK OR SEMI-TRAILER TRUCK WHOSE GROSS WEIGHT, INCLUDING LOAD,
SHALL EXCEED 20,000 POUNDS. 

"SEC. 6.  WIDTH.  - NO PERSON SHALL OPERATE ON ANY HIGHWAY ANY MOTOR
TRUCK OR SEMI-TRAILER MOTOR TRUCK WHOSE TOTAL OUTSIDE WIDTH, INCLUDING
ANY PART OF BODY OR LOAD, SHALL EXCEED 90 INCHES." 

FN2  STATE REGULATIONS AFFECTING INTERSTATE COMMERCE, WHOSE PURPOSE
OR EFFECT IS TO GAIN FOR THOSE WITHIN THE STATE AN ADVANTAGE AT THE
EXPENSE OF THOSE WITHOUT, OR TO BURDEN THOSE OUT OF THE STATE WITHOUT
ANY CORRESPONDING ADVANTAGE TO THOSE WITHIN, HAVE BEEN THOUGHT TO
IMPINGE UPON THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION EVEN THOUGH CONGRESS HAS
NOT ACTED.  HALL V. DECUIR, 95 U.S. 485, 497-498; WABASH, ST. L. & P.R.
CO. V. ILLINOIS, 118 U.S. 557, 575-578; BOWMAN V. CHICAGO & N.W.R. CO.,
125 U.S. 465, 498; WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH CO. V. JAMES, 162 U.S. 650,
659, WITH WHICH COMPARE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH CO. V. PENDLETON, 122
U.S. 347, 358; FOSTER-FOUNTAIN PACKING CO. V. HAYDEL, 278 U.S. 1, WITH
WHICH COMPARE GEER V. CONNECTICUT, 161 U.S. 519, AND NEW YORK EX REL.
SILZ V. HESTERBERG, 211 U.S. 31; BALDWIN V. SEELIG, 294 U.S. 511, 524;
SEE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH CO. V. KANSAS, 216 U.S. 1, 27 ET SEQ. 

UNDERLYING THE STATED RULE HAS BEEN THE THOUGHT, OFTEN EXPRESSED IN
JUDICIAL OPINION, THAT WHEN THE REGULATION IS OF SUCH A CHARACTER THAT
ITS BURDEN FALLS PRINCIPALLY UPON THOSE WITHOUT THE STATE, LEGISLATIVE
ACTION IS NOT LIKELY TO BE SUBJECTED TO THOSE POLITICAL RESTRAINTS
WHICH ARE NORMALLY EXERTED ON LEGISLATION WHERE IT AFFECTS ADVERSELY
SOME INTERESTS WITHIN THE STATE.  SEE COOLEY V. BOARD OF PORT WARDENS,
12 HOW.  299, 315; GILMAN V. PHILADELPHIA, 3 WALL.  713, 731; ESCANABA
CO. V. CHICAGO, 107 U.S. 678, 683; LAKE SHORE & M.S.R. CO. V. OHIO EX
REL. LAWRENCE, 173 U.S. 285, 194; CF. POUND V. TURCK, 95 U.S. 459, 464;
GLOUCESTER FERRY CO. V. PENNSYLVANIA, 114 U.S. 196, 205; ROBBINS V.
SHELBY COUNTY TAXING DISTRICT, 120 U.S. 489, 499. 

FN3  FOOTNOTE 2, SUPRA. 

FN4  SEE ILLINOIS CENTRAL R. CO. V. ILLINOIS, 163 U.S. 142;
CLEVELAND, C.C. & ST. L.R. CO. V. ILLINOIS, 177 U.S. 514; MISSISSIPPI
RAILROAD COMM'N V. ILLINOIS CENTRAL R. CO., 203 U.S. 335; ATLANTIC
COAST LINE R. CO. V. WHARTON, 207 U.S. 328; HERNDON V. CHICAGO, R.I. &
P.R. CO., 218 U.S. 135; CHICAGO, B. & Q.R. CO. V. RAILROAD COMMISSION,
237 U.S. 220; ST. LOUIS & SAN FRANCISCO R. CO. V. PUBLIC SERVICE
COMM'N, 254 U.S. 535.  CF. GLADSON V. MINNESOTA, 166 U.S. 427; LAKE
SHORE & M.S.R. CO. V. OHIO EX REL. LAWRENCE, 173 U.S. 285; GULF, C. &
S.F.R. CO. V. TEXAS, 246 U.S. 58, WHERE STATUTES REQUIRING LOCAL
SERVICE NO GREATER THAN NECESSARY FOR FAIR ACCOMMODATION OF LOCAL NEEDS
WERE HELD CONSTITUTIONAL.  ALTHOUGH THE STATES HAVE USUALLY BEEN
ALLOWED TO IMPOSE BURDENS ON INTERSTATE RAILROADS IN THE INTEREST OF
LOCAL SAFETY, SMITH V. ALABAMA, 124 U.S. 465; NASHVILLE, C. & ST. L.R.
CO. V. ALABAMA, 128 U.S. 96; NEW YORK, N.H. & H.R. CO. V. NEW YORK, 165
U.S. 628; CHICAGO, R.I. & P.R. CO. V. ARKANSAS, 219 U.S. 453; ST.
LOUIS, I.M. & S.R. CO. V. ARKANSAS, 240 U.S. 518; CF. HENNINGTON V.
GEORGIA, 163 U.S. 299, AN UNNECESSARILY HARSH RESTRICTION, EVEN THOUGH
IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY, HAS BEEN HELD TO BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. 
SEABOARD AIR LINE RY. V. BLACKWELL, 244 U.S. 310. 

FN5  AMONG THE STATE REGULATIONS MATERIALLY AFFECTING INTERSTATE
COMMERCE WHICH THIS COURT HAS UPHELD, CONGRESS NOT ACTING, ARE THOSE
WHICH SANCTION OBSTRUCTIONS IN NAVIGABLE RIVERS, WILLSON V. BLACK-BIRD
CREEK MARSH CO., 2 PET. 245; EX PARTE MCNIEL, 13 WALL.  236; POUND V.
TURCK, 95 U.S. 459; WILSON V. MCNAMEE, 102 U.S. 572; HUSE V. GLOVER,
119 U.S. 543; CF. SANDS V. MANISTEE RIVER IMPROVEMENT CO., 123 U.S.
288; APPROVE THE ERECTION OF BRIDGES OVER NAVIGABLE STREAMS, GILMAN V.
PHILADELPHIA, 3 WALL.  713; ESCANABA CO. V. CHICAGO, 107 U.S. 678;
CARDWELL V. AMERICAN RIVER BRIDGE CO., 113 U.S. 205; WILLAMETTE IRON
BRIDGE CO. V. HATCH, 125 U.S. 1; LAKE SHORE & M.S.R. CO. V. OHIO, 165
U.S. 365; REQUIRE PAYMENT OF FEES AS AN INCIDENT TO USE OF HARBORS,
COOLEY V. BOARD OF PORT WARDENS, 12 HOW.  299; STEAMSHIP CO. V.
JOLIFFE, 2 WALL.  450; ANDERSON V. PACIFIC COAST S.S. CO., 225 U.S.
187; CLYDE MALLORY LINES V. ALABAMA EX REL. STATE DOCKS COMM'N, 296
U.S. 261; CF. MOBILE COUNTY V. KIMBALL, 102 U.S. 691; CONTROL THE
LOCATION OF DOCKS, CUMMINGS V. CHICAGO, 188 U.S. 410; IMPOSE WHARFAGE
CHARGES, PACKET CO. V. KEOKUK, 95 U.S. 80; PACKET CO. V. CATLETTSBURG,
105 U.S. 559; TRANSPORTATION CO. V. PARKERSBURG, 107 U.S. 691; OUACHITA
PACKET CO. V. AIKEN, 121 U.S. 444; ESTABLISH INSPECTION AND QUARANTINE
LAWS, TURNER V. MARYLAND, 107 U.S. 38; MORGAN'S S.S. CO. V. LOUISIANA
BOARD OF HEALTH, 118 U.S. 455; PATAPSCO GUANO CO. V. NORTH CAROLINA
BOARD OF AGRICULTURE, 171 U.S. 345; RASMUSSEN V. IDAHO, 181 U.S. 198;
SMITH V. ST. LOUIS & S.W.R. CO., 181 U.S. 248; REID V. COLORADO, 187
U.S. 137; NEW MEXICO EX REL. MCLEAN & CO. V. DENVER & R.G.R. CO., 203
U.S. 38; ASBELL V. KANSAS, 209 U.S. 251; RED "C" OIL MFG. CO. V. BOARD
OF AGRICULTURE, 222 U.S. 380; SAVAGE V. JONES, 225 U.S. 501; PURE OIL
CO. V. MINNESOTA, 248 U.S. 158; MINTZ V. BALDWIN, 289 U.S. 346; CF.
RAILROAD CO. V. HUSEN, 95 U.S. 465; MINNESOTA V. BARBER, 136 U.S. 313;
BRIMMER V. REBMAN, 138 U.S. 78; AND REGULATE THE TAKING OR EXPORTATION
OF DOMESTIC GAME, GEER V. CONNECTICUT, 161 U.S. 519; NEW YORK EX REL.
SILZ V. HESTERBERG, 211 U.S. 31; CF. FOSTER-FOUNTAIN PACKING CO. V.
HAYDEL, 278 U.S. 1, 13, HOLDING INVALID A LOCAL REGULATION OSTENSIBLY
DESIGNED TO CONSERVE A NATURAL RESOURCE BUT WHOSE PURPOSE AND EFFECT
WERE TO BENEFIT LOUISIANA ENTERPRISE AT THE EXPENSE OF BUSINESSES
OUTSIDE THE STATE. 

MR. JUSTICE CARDOZO AND MR. JUSTICE REED TOOK NO PART IN THE
CONSIDERATION OR DECISION OF THIS CASE. 



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