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United States v. Darby

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

Darby, a lumber manufacturer, challenged the constitutionality of the Act because he did not treat his employees in accordance with the Act.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Congress may regulate intrastate activity, regardless of motive, provided that the intrastate activity has a substantial effect on interstate commerce.


In an effort to encourage the well-being of employees, Congress enacted the Act, which contained certain standards that employers had to adhere to: minimum wage requirements and also a limit on the maximum number hours worked weekly.


May Congress regulate the wages and hours of local employees who manufacture goods that are eventually shipped in interstate commerce?


Prohibiting the interstate shipment of goods produced under substandard labor conditions is within Congress’ constitutional authority.


Interstate commerce should not be made the instrument of competition in the distribution of goods produced under substandard labor conditions. The power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce extends to the regulation of intrastate activities, so long as the intrastate activities have a substantial effect on interstate commerce.

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