Today the Supreme Court decided United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Kerkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, yet another dormant commerce clause challenge to local solid waste management regulations. In this case, the Court upheld a local ordinance requiring that all waste within the jurisdiction be sent to a government processing facility. Writing for the Court, Chief Justice Roberts summarized the Court's holding:
Flow control ordinances require trash haulers to deliver solid waste to a particular waste processing facility. In C & A Carbone, Inc. v. Clarkstown, 511 U. S. 383 (1994), this Court struck down under the Commerce Clause a flow control ordinance that forced haulers to deliver waste to a particular private processing facility. In this case, we face flow control ordinances quite similar to the one invalidated in Carbone. The only salient difference is that the laws at issue here require haulers to bring waste to facilities owned and operated by a state-created public benefit corporation. We find this difference constitutionally significant. Disposing of trash has been a traditional government activity for years, and laws that favor the government in such areasbut treat every private business, whether in-state or out-of-state, exactly the same do not discriminate against interstate commerce for purposes of the Commerce Clause.
Of particular interest is the lineup in this case. The Chief Justice's opinion was joined in full by Justices Breyer, Souter, and Ginsburg, with Justice Scalia joining all but one section. Justice Thomas concurred in the result. Justice Alito dissented, joned by Justices Stevens and Kennedy. Comparing this lineup with that from the Carbone decision suggests this decision could signify a shift in the Court's Dormant Commerce Clause jurisprudence toward less-exacting scrutiny of state and local regulations that interfere with interstate commerce.
UPDATE: Ann Althouse has some commentary here.