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Gold Clause Cases


GOLD CLAUSE CASES, Norman v. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, 294 U.S. 240 (1935); Nortz v. United States, 294 U.S. 317 (1935); and Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330 (1935). In order to prevent a potentially disastrous run on U.S. gold reserves during the Great Depression, Congress enacted legislation canceling the government's obligation to repay certain of its debts in gold. When the new law was challenged as unconstitutional under the Constitution's contracts clause, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it by a 5 to 4 vote. By doing so, the Court reaffirmed Congress's plenary authority over monetary policy and prevented further harm to the national economy.


Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Katherine M.Jones

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