Field v. Clark 143 U.S. 649 (1892)

views updated

FIELD v. CLARK 143 U.S. 649 (1892)

This is a leading case on the subject of delegation of power. The Tariff Act of 1890 authorized the President to suspend its free-trade provisions indefinitely as to countries discriminating against American products. The Supreme Court held, 7–2, that though the act invested the President with discretion, it did not invest him with " legislative power "; Congress had fixed adequate standards for his guidance.

Field is also often cited as a political question precedent. Appellants argued that the enrolled act contained one section that the house of representatives had not passed. The Court refused to examine this question; the act's transmission by the congressional leadership and its enrollment by the secretary of state conclusively established its content.

Leonard W. Levy