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A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 295 U.S. 495, 55 S. Ct. 837, 79 L. Ed. 1570 (1935)

Brief Fact Summary. A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corporation (Petitioners) were convicted in the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of New York for violating the Live Poultry Code, promulgated under Section:3 of the National Industrial Recovery Act.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Congress is not permitted to abdicate or transfer to others the essential legislative functions with which it is vested by Article I of the Constitution of the United States.

Facts. Section:3 of the Act authorized the President to approve “codes of unfair competition” for trades and industries, and a violation of any code provision in any transaction in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce was made a misdemeanor punishable by a fine. The Live Poultry Code was approved by the President on April 13, 1934. Petitioners were convicted in the District Court for violating the Live Poultry Code, and contended that the Code had been adopted pursuant to an unconstitutional delegation by Congress of legislative power.

Issue. Did Congress, in authorizing the “codes of unfair competition” establish the standards of legal obligation, thereby performing its essential legislative function?

1 Response to A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States



January 27th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

According to my casebook, the phrase in Section 3 of the “Live Poultry Code” was “codes of FAIR competition” (not unfair competition). The court rationalized that it was this use of fair, rather than unfair, that granted the President too much latitude (rather than using “unfair” which has a precedented and codified meaning). I just wanted to check to make sure that this was the correct reading, and to determine which reading is correct. Thanks!