Burlington Northern R. Co. v. Ford, 504 U.S. 648, 7 (1992)

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Opinion of the Court

domicile. See Roberts & Schaefer Co. v. Emmerson, 271 U. S. 50, 53-55 (1926); cf. United States v. Raines, 362 U. S. 17, 21 (1960).

Burlington is left with the argument that Power Manufacturing Co. v. Saunders, supra, controls this case. But it does not. In Saunders, we considered Arkansas' venue rules, which restricted suit against a domestic corporation to those counties where it maintained a place of business, 274 U. S., at 491-492, but exposed foreign corporations to suit in any county, id., at 492. We held that the distinction lacked a rational basis and therefore deprived foreign corporate defendants of the equal protection of the laws. Id., at 494. The statutory provision challenged in Saunders, however, applied only to foreign corporations authorized to do business in Arkansas, ibid., so that most of the corporations subject to its any-county rule probably had a place of business in Arkansas. In contrast, most of the corporations subject to Montana's any-county rule probably do not have their principal place of business in Montana. Thus, Arkansas' special rule for foreign corporations was tailored with significantly less precision than Montana's, and, on the assumption that Saunders is still good law, see American Motorists Ins. Co. v. Starnes, 425 U. S. 637, 645, n. 6 (1976), its holding does not invalidate Montana's venue rules.

In sum, Montana's venue rules can be understood as rationally furthering a legitimate state interest. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Montana is accordingly


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