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Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell

Significance, Supreme Court Finds That The Contract Clause Is Not Absolute, Size Of The Supreme Court


Home Building & Loan Association


John H. Blaisdell

Appellant's Claim

That the 1933 Minnesota Mortgage Moratorium Law, intended to avert mortgage foreclosures during the Great Depression, violated the Contract Clause of Article I of the Constitution, which bars state impairment of the obligations of contracts.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

Karl H. Covell, Alfred W. Bowen

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

Harry H. Peterson, William S. Ervin

Justices for the Court

Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Charles Evans Hughes (writing for the Court), Owen Josephus Roberts, Harlan Fiske Stone

Justices Dissenting

Pierce Butler, James Clark McReynolds, George Sutherland, Willis Van Devanter


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

8 January 1934


By a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court upheld the Minnesota statute.

Related Cases

  • Railroad Commission Cases, 116 U.S. 307 (1886).
  • Block v. Hirsch, 256 U.S. 135 (1921).
  • Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U.S. 170 (1921).
  • Edgar A. Levy Leasing Co. v. Siegel, 258 U.S. 242 (1922).
  • Stephenson v. Binford, 287 U.S. 251 (1932).


World Book Encyclopedia, 1993, p. 364.

Further Readings

  • Butler, Henry N. The Corporation and the Constitution. Washington, DC: AEI Press, 1995.
  • Lash, Joseph P. Dealers and Dreamers: A New Look at the New Deal. New York: Doubleday, 1988.
  • Leuchtenburg, William Edward. The Supreme Court Reborn: The Constitutional Revolution in the Age of Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940