South-Eastern Underwriters Association v. United States 322 U.S. 533 (1944)
SOUTH-EASTERN UNDERWRITERS ASSOCIATION v. UNITED STATES 322 U.S. 533 (1944)
The statement in paul v. virginia (1869) that insurance did not constitute interstate commerce underlay seventy-five years of acquiescence and spawned an intricate network of state regulation. The question of federal regulation did not come before the Court until this indictment of an underwriters' association for violating the sherman antitrust act. A 4–3 Court, led by Justice hugo l. black, declared that insurance was commerce subject to federal regulation. Moreover, the Sherman Act applied, and the underwriters could properly be convicted for its violation. Justice robert h. jackson, dissenting in part, conceded the fact of interstate commerce but felt obliged to follow the well-established legal fiction to the contrary until Congress acted to regulate. Chief Justice harlan fiske stone dissented, predicting chaos when state regulation was discontinued because federal controls did not exist. Justice felix frankfurter joined Stone, admitting the reach of federal power but denying that the Sherman Act was intended to extend to insurance.
(see also: Prudential Insurance Company v. Benjamin.)