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Carter v. Carter Coal Company


CARTER V. CARTER COAL COMPANY, 298 U.S. 238 (1936). The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5–4 majority, struck down the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935, holding that its labor relations section was beyond the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce and exclusively within state authority under the Tenth Amendment. Writing for the majority, Justice George Sutherland relied on specious distinctions between production and commerce and between direct and indirect effects on commerce. Ignoring the severability clause, he held the price-control title unconstitutional as well. The suit was collusive and thus improper for the Court to entertain. Carter was the penultimate and most emphatic rejection of the constitutionality of key New Deal measures.


Currie, David P. The Constitution in the Supreme Court: The Second Century, 1888–1986. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

William M.Wiecek

See alsoInterstate Commerce Laws .

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