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Law School Case Brief

Stafford v. Wallace - 258 U.S. 495, 42 S. Ct. 397, 66 L. Ed. 735, 1922 U.S. LEXIS 2296


Section 2(b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, 42 Stat. 159 (1921), provides that for the purpose of the act, a transaction in respect to any article shall be considered to be in commerce if such article is part of that current of commerce usual in the live-stock and meat-packing industries, whereby live stock and its products are sent from one state with the expectation that they will end their transit, after purchase, in another, including, in addition to cases within the above general description, all cases where purchase or sale is either for shipment to another state, or for slaughter of live stock within the state and the shipment outside the state of the products resulting from such slaughter. Articles normally in such current of commerce shall not be considered out of such current through resort being had to any means or device intended to remove transactions in respect thereto from the provisions of the act.


Appellant stockyards brought an action against appellees, Secretary of Agriculture and United States District Attorney, seeking to enjoin enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 (act), 42 Stat. 159 (1921). The stockyards sought further review after the district court refused to grant interlocutory injunctions against appellees.


Was business done in the stockyards part of an interstate commerce to bring it within the power of national regulation?




The United States Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the district court refusing to grant injunctions. The court held that enactment of the Packers and Stockyards Act challenged by appellant stockyards was clearly within the congressional power. In affirming the denial of the injunctions sought by appellants, the court found that the stockyards were, but a throat through which the current of livestock flowed and that the transactions that occurred therein were only incident to this current from one state to anotUnited Sher.

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