United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 22 (1995)

Page:   Index   Previous  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  Next



Kennedy, J., concurring

rials into a change of form for use. The functions of commerce are different." Kidd v. Pearson, 128 U. S. 1, 20 (1888). Though that approach likely would not have survived even if confined to the question of a State's authority to enact legislation, it was not at all propitious when applied to the quite different question of what subjects were within the reach of the national power when Congress chose to exercise it.

This became evident when the Court began to confront federal economic regulation enacted in response to the rapid industrial development in the late 19th century. Thus, it relied upon the manufacture-commerce dichotomy in United States v. E. C. Knight Co., 156 U. S. 1 (1895), where a manufacturers' combination controlling some 98% of the Nation's domestic sugar refining capacity was held to be outside the reach of the Sherman Act. Conspiracies to control manufacture, agriculture, mining, production, wages, or prices, the Court explained, had too "indirect" an effect on interstate commerce. Id., at 16. And in Adair v. United States, 208 U. S. 161 (1908), the Court rejected the view that the commerce power might extend to activities that, although local in the sense of having originated within a single State, nevertheless had a practical effect on interstate commercial activity. The Court concluded that there was not a "legal or logical connection . . . between an employé's membership in a labor organization and the carrying on of interstate commerce," id., at 178, and struck down a federal statute forbidding the discharge of an employee because of his membership in a labor organization. See also The Employers' Liability Cases, 207 U. S. 463, 497 (1908) (invalidating statute creating negligence action against common carriers for personal injuries of employees sustained in the course of employment, because the statute "regulates the persons because they engage in interstate commerce and does not alone regulate the business of interstate commerce").

Page:   Index   Previous  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007