United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 25 (1995)

Page:   Index   Previous  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  Next

Cite as: 514 U. S. 549 (1995)

Kennedy, J., concurring

the abandoned abstract distinction between direct and indirect effects on interstate commerce. See Carter v. Carter Coal Co., 298 U. S. 238, 309 (1936) (Act regulating price of coal and wages and hours for miners held to have only "secondary and indirect" effect on interstate commerce); Railroad Retirement Bd. v. Alton R. Co., 295 U. S. 330, 368 (1935) (compulsory retirement and pension plan for railroad carrier employees too "remote from any regulation of commerce as such"); A. L. A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U. S. 495, 548 (1935) (wage and hour law provision of National Industrial Recovery Act had "no direct relation to interstate commerce").

The case that seems to mark the Court's definitive commitment to the practical conception of the commerce power is NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U. S. 1 (1937), where the Court sustained labor laws that applied to manufacturing facilities, making no real attempt to distinguish Carter, supra, and Schechter, supra. 301 U. S., at 40-41. The deference given to Congress has since been confirmed. United States v. Darby, 312 U. S. 100, 116-117 (1941), overruled Hammer v. Dagenhart, supra. And in Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U. S. 111 (1942), the Court disapproved E. C. Knight and the entire line of direct-indirect and manufacture-production cases, explaining that "broader interpretations of the Commerce Clause [were] destined to supersede the earlier ones," 317 U. S., at 122, and "[w]hatever terminology is used, the criterion is necessarily one of degree and must be so defined. This does not satisfy those who seek mathematical or rigid formulas. But such formulas are not provided by the great concepts of the Constitution," id., at 123, n. 24. Later examples of the exercise of federal power where commercial transactions were the subject of regulation include Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, 379 U. S. 241 (1964), Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U. S. 294 (1964), and Perez v. United States, 402 U. S. 146 (1971). These and like authorities are within the fair ambit


Page:   Index   Previous  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007