Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution declares that "the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and ini-munities of citizens in the several States." This provision has for its general aim the prevention of arbitrary and vexatious discriminations by the several States in favor of their own citizens and against the citizens of other States. "It was undoubtedly the object of the clause in question," say the Supreme Court in Paul v. Virginia,1 "to place the citizens of each State upon the same footing with citizens of other States, so far as the advantages resulting from citizenship in those States are concerned. It relieves them from the disabilities of alienage in other States; it inhibits discriminating legislation against them by other States; it gives them the right of free ingress into other States, and egress from them; it insures to them in other States the same freedom possessed by the citizens of those States in the acquisition and enjoyment of property and in the pursuit of happiness; and it secures to them in other States the equal protection of their laws. It has been justly said that no provision in the Constitution has tended so strongly to constitute the citizens of the United States one people as this.2 Indeed, without some provision of the kind, removing from the citizens of each State the disabilities of alienage in the other, and giving them equality of privilege with citizens of those States, the Republic would have constituted little more than a league of States; it would not have constituted the Union which now exists."
In the early ease in the federal Circuit Court of Corfield v. Coryell,3 as has been earlier noted, Justice Washington attempted a still more particular, though not an exhaustive, enumeration of the privileges and immunities that are protected from state discrimination.4
1 8 Wall. 168; 10 L. ed. 857.
2 Citing Lemmon v. The People of N. Y., 20 N. Y. 607.
3 4 Wash. C. C. 371.
Much of Justice Washington's language was obiter, the determination of the enumerated privileges and immunities not being necessarily involved in the case. Many of these rights have, however, in subsequent cases, been specifically passed upon and sustained,5 and it is believed that there is not one of them that would not be declared by the Supreme Court, in a proper case, to be beyond the discriminating power of the States. Thus in Ward v. Maryland0 it was held that a State might not levy a license tax upon temporary residents, as a condition precedent to allowing them to sell certain goods. So also the granting of licenses to trade cannot be limited to residents.7 Nor can a State, except by proper quarantine and other police regulations, deny to citizens of other States free ingress and egress, or the right to export or import property.8
In Ward v. Maryland the court say: "Attempt will not be made to define the words 'privileges and immunities,' or to specify the rights which they are intended to secure and protect, beyond what may be necessary to the decision of the case before the court. Beyond doubt, those words are words of very comprehensive meaning, but it will be sufficient to say that the clause plainly and unmistakably secures and protects the right of a citizen of one State to pass into any other State of the Union, for the purpose of engaging in lawful commerce, trade, or business, without molestation, to acquire personal property, to take and hold real estate, to maintain actions in the courts of the States, and to be exempt from any higher taxes or excises than are imposed by the State upon its own citizens. Comprehensive as the power of the States is to lay and collect taxes and excises, it is nevertheless clear, in the judgment of the court, that the power cannot be exercised to any extent in a manner forbidden by the Constitution; and, inasmuch as the Constitution provides that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States, it follows that the defendant might lawfully sell or offer or expose for sale within the district prescribed in the indictment any goods which the permanent residents of the State might sell or offer Or expose for sale in that district, without being subjected to any higher tax or excise than that exacted by law of such permanent residents."
4 See ante, p. 179.
5 See especially two articles by W. S. Meyers in Michigan Law Review, I, pp. 286, 364, entitled "The Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the Several States."
6 12 Wall. 418; 20 L. ed. 449. 7 In re Wilson, 15 Fed. 511.
8 This last is unconstitutional as well by the commerce clause of the Constitution.