Author:Leonard W. Levy

Page 2046

Until the transformation of the constitutional law of ECONOMIC REGULATION, beginning in 1937, "production" described economic activities that the Supreme Court regarded as local or intrastate in character and therefore beyond Congress's power to regulate under the COMMERCE CLAUSE. In 1895 the Court ruled in UNITED STATES V. E. C. KNIGHT CO. that every form of production and matters related to it were stages of economic activity that preceded the buying, selling, and transportation of goods among the states. Manufacturing, mining, agriculture, domestic fisheries, stock raising, and labor had only an "indirect" effect upon commerce, by judicial definition. Because commerce came after production the United States had no constitutional authority to extend the SHERMAN ANTITRUST ACT to monopolies in production, nor could it control the trade practices of poultry dealers, or regulate agricultural production, or fix the MAXIMUM HOURS AND MINIMUM WAGES of miners. In UNITED STATES V. DARBY (1941) the Court sustained the constitutionality of the FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT, which applied to workers engaged in production of goods for sale in INTERSTATE COMMERCE, in the next year the Court in WICKARD V. FILBURN (1942) ended any...

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