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Marilley v. Bonham

ELR Citation: 45 ELR 20174
Nos. 13-17358, (9th Cir., 09/18/2015)

The Ninth Circuit held that California's commercial fishing fees for nonresidents violates the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution. California's commercial fishing license fees are significantly higher for out-of-state fishers than for residents. For example, California residents are charged $338 for vessel registration, but a nonresident would be charged $1,000. As such, the fees directly burden commercial fishing by nonresidents, a protected privilege. California claimed the fees were justified because they help compensate the state's conservation and enforcement expenditures. But the state failed to show that the differential fee charged to a nonresident is closely related to a resident's share of the state's expenditures. Accordingly, because California failed to show that the discrimination is closely related to the advancement of a substantial state interest, the fees violate the Privileges and Immunities Clause.