Brief Fact Summary. Congress passed a law, which prohibited shipping milk containing any fat or oil other than milk fat in interstate commerce.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Court upheld a federal prohibition on the interstate shipment of filled milk, because it is a decision that should be made by Congress, not by courts.
Issue. Does the act, which prohibits the shipment in interstate commerce of filled milk infringe the Fifth Amendment?
Held. Justice Stone opinion.
There was a strong public interest motive for the legislation. Twenty years of evidence has shown the danger to the public health from the general consumption of foods that have been stripped of elements essential to the maintenance of health. After extensive investigation, Congress concluded that the use of filled milk as a substitute for pure milk is generally injurious to health. This product was indistinguishable from pure mil, thus making fraudulent distribution easy and protection of the consumer difficult.
Legislative finds the action taken as a constitutional exertion of the legislative power justified. If the statute was valid on its face, it could be invalid by proof of facts tending to show that the statute’s effect is without support in reason. It is evident from all the considerations presented to Congress that the issue is at least debatable whether commerce in filled milk should be left unregulated, restricted or wholly prohibited. The decision was for Congress, not for a jury or court to make.
The constitutionality of a statute predicated upon the existence of a particular state of facts may be challenged by showing that those facts have ceased to exist.View Full Point of Law