Politics of Administrative Law Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1193 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Law


The Court further noted the existence of many regulatory statutes, none of which had been adjudicated to be in violation of "constitutional prohibitions against interference with private property" Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113, 124 (1876).

In Lochner v. New York (1905), the Court looked to, among other things, the common law contract doctrine of incapacity (Brauneis 1996). According to Brauneis,.".. practitioners of Lochner-era ahistoricism relied on a willingness to undertake some independent investigation of a statute's purposes" (1996:613). In this regard, the proclamation in Lochner serves to summarize the rationale of the day:

The purpose of a statute must be determined from the natural and legal effect of the language employed; and whether or not it is repugnant to the Constitution of the United States must be determined from the natural effect of such statutes when put into operation and not from their proclaimed purpose (Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113, 124, 1876).

With the New Deal, though, President Roosevelt and Congress began to increasingly test the Court's standards and judicial limits by enacting laws that stretched previous boundaries of the commerce power to their absolute limits (Scott 2003). In NLRB vs. Jones & Laughlin Steel, the Court joined the President and Congress by dropping the "direct effects" test for a "close and substantial relation to interstate commerce" test. "This newly expanded test enabled Congress to regulate even wholly intrastate activities provided they had at least a "close and substantial relation to interstate commerce" (Scott 2003:753).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Politics of Administrative Law an Assignment

In NLRB vs. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., Chief Justice Hughes delivered the opinion of the Court. The NLRB had determined Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. ("Jones") violated the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 by firing employees at its Aliquippa, Pennsylvania plant who had engaged in union activities. It ordered reinstatement and other relief. The court of appeals refused to enforce the Supreme Court's orders because it maintained the matter was not subject to federal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed. The legal question in this case was whether the labor matter was in fact subject to federal intervention, with the ultimate decision being it was.


Ever since John Marshall first introduced the concept of judicial review, there has been an enormous amount of controversy about the Supreme Court's role in American society and what part it should play in regulating commerce between individuals and the States. While the Commerce Clause may have been stretched painfully by the Court ever since, Jones was a logical extension at the time. Because the plant in question was involved in interstate commerce by virtue of its integrated configuration (in other words, drawing raw materials and other supplies from several surrounding states), the labor practices at Jones were legitimately subject to federal oversight. The decision in Jones reflected the shifts in the social contract as well as growing sense that interstate commerce required increasing regulation if a level playing field was to be maintained in the American marketplace.

Works Cited

Brauneis, Robert. "The Foundation of Our 'Regulatory Takings' Jurisprudence: The Myth and Meaning of Justice Holmes's Opinion in Pennsylvania Coal Co. V. Mahon." Yale Law Journal 106.3 (1996): 613-702.

Lochner v. New York. 198 U.S. 45 (1905).

Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113, 124 (1876).

NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U.S. 1, 37 (1937).

Scott, M. Todd. "Kidnapping Federalism: United States v. Wills and the Constitutionality of Extending Federal Criminal Law into… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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