Paul v. Virginia 8 Wallace 168 (1869)

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PAUL v. VIRGINIA 8 Wallace 168 (1869)

In 1866, Virginia prohibited out-of-state insurance companies from doing business without a substantial deposit; domestic companies were not so required. Convicted of violating the 1866 act, Paul filed a writ of error and benjamin r. curtis argued his case. Justice stephen j. field, for a unanimous Supreme Court, rejected Paul's Article iv privileges and immunities argument, declaring that citizenship could apply only to natural persons. Field further asserted that insurance contracts were not articles of commerce and that the issuance of a policy was not a transaction in interstate commerce. Paul was often cited as a limitation on congressional power on the incorrect assumption that congressional and state regulatory power were mutually exclusive. Paul remained law until virtually overturned in united states v. south-eastern underwriters association (1944), involving congressional power, after which Congress authorized state regulation.

David Gordon
(1986)

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Paul v. Virginia 8 Wallace 168 (1869)

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