• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court upheld the portion of the 1935 Social Security Act that established unemployment compensation.

Justice Benjamin N. CardozoCardozo, Benjamin N.;Steward Machine Co. v. Davis[Steward Machine Co. v. Davis] wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority sustaining the 1935 Social Security Act’s provision for unemployment compensation. The Supreme Court clearly departed from its earlier decision in United States v. Butler[case]Butler, United States v.[Butler, United States v.] (1936), which was decided before Justice Owen J. Roberts switched to a more liberal position. Justices Pierce Butler, James C. McReynolds, George Sutherland, and Willis Van Devanter dissented, asserting that the Tenth Amendment limited the federal government’s taxing and spending power a position clearly rejected by the Court’s new majority.Social Security ActTaxing and spending clause;Steward Machine Co. v. Davis[Steward Machine Co. v. Davis]Social Security Act

Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, a believer in selective incorporation, wrote the majority opinion in Steward Machine.

(Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States)

Butler, United States v.

Commerce, regulation of

Helvering v. Davis

New Deal

Roberts, Owen J.

Taxing and spending clause

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