Commerce Clause

Era

1st

1800 - 1890

2nd

1890 - 1937

3rd

1937 - 1990

4th

1990 - Present

Cases

Gibbons v. Ogden

1824

The New York law was found invalid because the Commerce Clause of the Constitution designated power to Congress to regulate interstate commerce and that the broad definition of commerce included navigation.

US v. E.C. Knight

1895

Manufacturing is not considered an area that can be regulated by Congress pursuant to the commerce clause.

Hammer v. Dagenhart

1918

Congress has no power under the Commerce Clause to regulate labor conditions.

Carter v. Carter Coal Company

1936

The court found that the Coal Conservation Act is not within Congress’ power according to the Commerce Clause. Just because a commodity will, in the future, be sold in interstate commerce does not give Congress the right to regulate it before the event occurs.

NLRB v. Jones

1937

Congress had the power, under the Commerce Clause, to regulate labor relations

United States v. Darby Lumber Co.

1941

The Fair Labor Standards Act was a constitutional exercise of Congressional power under the Commerce Clause

Wickard v. Filburn

1942

Production quotas under the Agricultural Adjustment Act were constitutionally applied to agricultural production that was consumed purely intrastate, because its effect upon interstate commerce placed it within the power of Congress to regulate under the Commerce Clause. Southern District of Ohio reversed.

Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States

1964

Congress did not unconstitutionally exceed its powers under the Commerce Clause by enacting Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibited racial discrimination in public accommodations. Northern District of Georgia affirmed.

Katzenbach v. McClung

1964

Section 201(a), (b), and (c) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964[1] which forbids discrimination by restaurants offering to serve interstate travelers or serving food that has moved in interstate commerce is a constitutional exercise of the commerce power of Congress.

National League of Cities v. Usery

1976

FLSA as applied to state employers was unconstitutional as a violation of Amendment X of the Constitution.

Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority

1985

Congress had the authority under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution to apply the Fair Labor Standards Act to a municipal mass transit system operated by a governmental entity. District Court for the Western District of Texas reversed.

United States v. Lopez

1995

Possession of a gun near school is not an economic activity that has a substantial effect on interstate commerce. A law prohibiting guns near schools is a criminal statute that does not relate to commerce or any sort of economic activity.

Printz v. United States

1997

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act's interim provision commanding the "chief law enforcement officer" (CLEO) of each local jurisdiction to conduct background checks, §922(s)(2), is unconstitutional.

Reno v. Condon

2000

The DPPA did not run afoul of the federalism principles enunciated in New York v. United States and Printz v. United States, and was a valid exercise of Congress' power under the Commerce Clause.

United States v. Morrison

2000

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 13981, is unconstitutional as exceeding congressional power under the Commerce Clause and under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

CC reading

Broad

1800 - 1890

Narrowest

1890 - 1937

Broadest

1937 - 1990

Narrow

1990 - Present

10th Amendment reading

Narrow

1800 - 1890

Broad

1890 - 1937

Narrow

1937 - 1990

Broad

1990 - Present