No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage
, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
analysis of what constitutes an impermissible duty of tonnage
Added to the Constitution in the "waning days of the Philadelphia Convention," (52) the Tonnage Clause provides, in relevant part, that "[n]o State shall without the Consent of the Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage.
The Framers, as they did so often throughout the text of the Constitution, left the Tonnage Clause short, simple, and open to interpretation, indicating only that a state shall not "lay any Duty of Tonnage.
Early Supreme Court cases also made it clear that the prohibition would extend to duties on ships if those duties would "effect the same purpose" as imposing a charge on the duty of tonnage.
Keokuk, (116) citing to Cooley, found that a fee based on tonnage imposed for docking at the town's wharf could not be considered a duty of tonnage, as the Constitutional Framers could not, when they drafted the Tonnage Clause, have "had in mind charges for services rendered or for conveniences furnished to vessels in port, which are facilities to commerce rather than hindrances to its freedom.
Looking to the language of the Tonnage Clause, the concurring Justices concluded that the Tonnage Clause prohibits any duty of tonnage, "regardless of how that duty compares to other commercial taxes.
4) What is a duty of tonnage
, and how is it different from an "impost or duty"?
When the Constitution was adopted, the Free Rivers Doctrine was one of the reasons for the inclusion of the Duty of Tonnage Clause.
9) It summarily rejected the continued validity of the Northwest Ordinance and the Virginia Compact, it ignored or misinterpreted more than 200 years of Duty of Tonnage Clause, Supremacy Clause and Commerce Clause jurisprudence, and it declared that interstate river traffic is fair game for the State's tax collector.
These include that the tax violates the Northwest Ordinance and the Virginia Compact, as well as the Duty of Tonnage, Supremacy and Commerce Clauses of the U.
West Virginia's ruling renders the Duty of Tonnage Clause (art.