ArtI.S8.C3.5.4 New Deal Legislation Generally

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3:

[The Congress shall have Power . . . ] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; . . .

Several days after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inauguration, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes described a problem the new Administration faced, stating: “When industry is grievously hurt, when producing concerns fail, when unemployment mounts and communities dependent upon profitable production are prostrated, the wells of commerce go dry.” 1 Congress’s legislative response to the Great Depression marked a significant expansion of federal economic regulation. Congress did not limit itself to regulating traffic among the states and the instrumentalities thereof. It also attempted to govern production and industrial relations in the field of production, areas over which states had historically exercised legislative power. Confronted with this expansive exercise of congressional power, the Court reexamined Congress’s interstate commerce power.

Appalachian Coals, Inc. v. United States, 288 U.S. 344, 372 (1933). back