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Wabash Case

Wabash Case, popular name for Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad Company v. Illinois, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1886. The decision narrowed earlier ones (see Munn v. Illinois) favorable to state regulation of those phases of interstate commerce upon which Congress itself had not acted. The court declared invalid an Illinois law prohibiting long- and short-haul clauses in transportation contracts as an infringement on the exclusive powers of Congress granted by the commerce clause of the Constitution. The result of the case was denial of state power to regulate interstate rates for railroads, and the decision led to creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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