The Arizona Game and Fish Commission was sued by United States Outfitters (or technically, members of their organization), a professional hunting guide service, as well as the largest application service in North American. United States Outfitters' contention was that the 10 percent cap on nonresidents in drawings for bull elk and deer north of the Colorado River violated the Commerce, Privileges and Immunities and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. In the first round, the Federal District Court granted the Commission's gross-motion for summary judgment dismissing the Commerce Clause claim as a matter of law. This was then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court.
The Ninth Circuit Court overturned the lower court decision. It ruled that Arizona's 10 percent nonresident cap "substantially affects" commerce such that the dormant Commerce Clause applied to the regulation. They even said "...the regulation discriminates against interstate commerce...."
There are certainly two sides to the basic issue of whether nonresidents should be treated the same as residents in the drawings. On the resident side, in the late 1980s, Arizona's residents began to complain that nonresidents were getting more than their fair share of the hunt opportunities, especially for premium hunts. These feelings fermented until the early 1990s when nearly 75 percent of the residents favored restricting the number of tags issued to nonresidents. In fact, they felt that nonresidents should not even be allowed to hunt in Arizona! In 1991, the Commission placed a 10 percent limit on........(continued)