Pacific States Box & Basket Co. v. White

296 U.S. 176 (1935)


P is a California corporation that manufactures fruit and vegetable containers. Oregon Code authorized the Chief of the Division of Plant Industry, after investigation and public hearing and subject to the approval of the Director of Agriculture, to fix and promulgate 'official standards for containers of horticultural products' 'in order to promote, protect, further and develop the horticultural interests' of the State. The statutes make it unlawful for anyone to pack for sale or transport for sale, or sell, the article in a container unless it conforms to the standard. A public hearing was held in Portland, Oregon to consider standard containers for fruits and vegetables. Standards for raspberries and strawberries were declared to be 24-pint hallocks with specific sizes for each. P manufactures tin-top or metal rim containers that are used for raspberries and strawberries. P sued D in federal court alleging 'that the effect' of the order is to prevent the sale by P for use in Oregon of 'the metal top variety of containers or cups with the solid bottom'; 'because dealers who formerly purchased such baskets from P have been warned by officials . . . that they would not be allowed to sell strawberries or raspberries in any container' other than that prescribed; that it has no facilities for manufacturing hallocks; and that, because of the expense of installing the requisite machinery and the cost of transporting the appropriate supplies to its plant, it is impracticable for it to arrange to make hallocks. P claims the order violates its rights: (a) Under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because the order is arbitrary, capricious, and not reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of any legitimate purpose of the police power; (b) Under the equal protection clause of the Amendment, because the order grants a monopoly to manufacturers of hallocks; (c) Under the commerce clause, because the order imposes undue burdens on interstate commerce. P appealed from a dismissal by the lower court.