The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the TVA, including its right to sell electricity. In a concurring opinion, Justice Louis D. Brandeis formulated influential guidelines concerning when the Court will decide constitutional questions.
When the TVA sold “surplus power” to a private utility company, minority shareholders went to court to annul the agreement. Speaking for an 8-1 majority, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes
Although concurring with the decision, Justice Brandeis
Although not always followed, justices commonly refer to the Ashwander rules, or Brandeis rules, as established standards. At times the rules have encouraged the justices to exercise a degree of self-restraint, and sometimes they have served as an excuse to avoid awkward or difficult questions.
Brandeis, Louis D.