When it comes to regulating oil, United States v. Dewitt (1869) said states regulate oil.
Here’s the facts of Dewitt. In Detroit, Michigan, Dewitt was charged with selling naphtha and illuminating oils, which was contrary to law.
Now, here’s the issue in Dewitt. First, do the facts of this case constitute any offense under the US Constitution. Second, was Section 29 of the act constitutional?
Dewitt provides the following rule: In regards to both questions, the Supreme Court answered negative on both accounts.
Justice Chase delivered the majority opinion in this case. He said states regulate the sale of oil. This decision was consistent Barron v. Baltimore, which said states regulate intrastate commerce.
Overall, this case involved important issues. Although the court didn’t see any violation in the facts of this case, they did see Section 29 of this law unconstitutional regarding state power. The Supreme Court answered negative on both accounts.