• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court overturned a 1935 coal act that set up local boards to regulate coal prices and help workers negotiate wages and hours, holding that only the states had the right to regulate coal mining. Although widely ignored, the ruling was never overturned.

With a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the Bituminous Coal Conservation ActBituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935, which attempted to stop strikes and dislocation in the coal industry by creating local boards that set the minimum price for local coal and also provided wage and hour agreements through collective bargaining. In the opinion for the Court, Justice George SutherlandSutherland, George;Carter v. Carter Coal Co.[Carter v. Carter Coal Co.] reiterated his view that the Tenth Amendment and the commerce clause placed restrictions on how Congress dealt with economic matters, in particular, limiting its ability to delegate its lawmaking power, whether to executive branch bureaucrats or to private groups such as the coal boards.Commerce, regulation of;Carter v. Carter Coal Co.[Carter v. Carter Coal Co.]

In setting up local coal boards, Congress relied on its power to regulate interstate commerce, but Sutherland used the prevailing distinction that Congress could regulate only direct interstate commerce. Indirect intrastate commerce was for states, not the federal government, to control. Justices Benjamin N. Cardozo, Louis D. Brandeis, and Harlan Fiske Stone dissented, objecting to the weakness of the direct-indirect distinction. Only a year later, the dissenters prevailed in National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.[case]National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.[National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.] (1937).

Cold War

Delegation of powers

General welfare clause

National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.

Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan

Rule of law

Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States

Sutherland, George

Categories: History Content