Here, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, relying in part on Asahi, held that New Jersey’s courts can exercise jurisdiction over a foreign manufacturer of a product so long as the manufacturer “knows or reasonably should know thatits products are distributed through a nationwide distribution system that might lead to those products being sold inany of the fifty states.” Nicastro v. McIntyre Machinery America, Ltd., 201 N. J. 48, 76, 77, 987 A. 2d 575, 591, 592 (2010)....
That decision cannot be sustained. Although the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an extensive opinion with care-ful attention to this Court’s cases and to its own precedent, the “stream of commerce” metaphor carried the decision far afield. Due process protects the defendant’s right not to be coerced except by lawful judicial power. As a general rule, the exercise of judicial power is not lawfulunless the defendant “purposefully avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws.” Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U. S. 235, 253 (1958). There maybe exceptions, say, for instance, in cases involving an intentional tort. But the general rule is applicable in this products-liability case, and the so-called “stream-of-commerce” doctrine cannot displace it.
Due process protects petitioner’s right to be subject only to lawful authority. At no time did petitioner engage in any activities in New Jersey that reveal an intent to invoke or benefit from the protection of its laws. New Jersey is without power to adjudge the rights and liabilities of J. McIntyre, and its exercise of jurisdiction would violate due process. The contrary judgment of the New Jersey Supreme Court is REVERSED.
Under this Court’s pathmarking precedent in International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U. S. 310 (1945), and subsequent decisions, one would expect the answer to be unequivocally, “No.” But instead, six Justices of this Court, in divergent opinions, tell us that the manufacturer has avoided the jurisdiction of our state courts, except perhaps in States where its products are sold in sizeable quantities. Inconceivable as it may have seemed yesterday, the splintered majority today “turn[s] the clock back to the days before modern long-arm statutes when a manufacturer, to avoid being haled into court where a user is injured, need only Pilate-like wash its hands of a product by having independent distributors market it.” Weintraub, A Map Out of the Personal Jurisdiction Labyrinth,28 U. C. Davis L. Rev. 531, 555 (1995).