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United States v. Butler


UNITED STATES V. BUTLER, 297 U.S. 1 (1936), also known as the Hoosac Mills case, eviscerated the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 (AAA), dealing a blow to New Deal agricultural policy. AAA provided payments to farmers who agreed to reduce production acreage; these benefits were paid from the proceeds of a tax on commodities processors. In a 6 to 3 decision, the Supreme Court found that while the tax itself was justified under the "general welfare" clause of the Constitution, its intended use was "coercive" and thus unconstitutional. AAA violated the Tenth Amendment by attempting to use the taxing power to regulate agricultural production—a matter that the Court determined was the sole jurisdiction of the states.


Brinkley, Alan. The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War. New York: Knopf, 1995.


R. VolneyRiser

See alsoNew Deal .

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