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United States v. Darby

Citation. 312 U.S. 100, 61 S. Ct. 451, 85 L. Ed. 609, 1941 U.S.
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Brief Fact Summary.

The Defendant-Respondent, Darby (Defendant), was indicted under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the Act) for violating minimum wage and maximum hours limitations. The Respondent now argues the standards promulgated under the Act are an unconstitutional exercise of the commerce power.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Congress may regulate intrastate activities so long as there is a connection between such activities and interstate commerce. Also, the Tenth Amendment “states but a truism.”


The Defendant was engaged in the lumber business in Georgia. The Defendants mills produced a large proportion of lumber that was shipped to other states. Defendant was indicted for violating the standards developed in the Act, including minimum wage and maximum hours in a workweek.


May Congress prohibit the employment of workers producing goods for interstate commerce at other than statutory set wages and hours?


Yes. Appeals court ruling reversed and remanded.
Hammer v. Dagenhart, 247 U.S. 251 (1918) is specifically overruled as a “departure from the principles which have prevailed in the interpretation of the commerce clause

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