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Ferguson v. Skrupa DBA Credit Advisors

The Facts Of The Case, High Court Rules, Broad Scope For State Legislatures


William M. Ferguson


Skrupa DBA Credit Advisors

Petitioner's Claim

That Kansas legislation regulating the business of "debt adjusting" did not constitute a violation of constitutional due process.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

William M. Ferguson

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Lawrence Weigand

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black (writing for the Court), William J. Brennan, Jr., Tom C. Clark, Arthur Goldberg, John Marshall Harlan II, William O. Douglas, Potter Stewart, Earl Warren, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

22 April 1963


Kansas legislation regulating debt adjusting was held not to be a violation of the Due Process Clause.


With its decision in Ferguson v. Skrupa DBA Credit Advisors the Supreme Court expressly disavowed its previous practice of assessing the wisdom of state legislation regulating economic activity.


The Supreme Court's decision in Ferguson v. Skrupa was about more than just the legality of debt adjusting in the state of Kansas. It put the Court on record as affording states wide latitude to regulate economic activity within their borders. This important shift in direction would affect many subsequent cases.

Related Cases

  • Levy v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 68 (1968).
  • Kahn v. Shevin, 416 U.S. 351 (1974).

Further Readings

  • Chandler, Ralph C. The Constitutional Law Dictionary. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 1987.
  • Cushman, Robert, with Susan P. Koniak. Leading Constitutional Decisions. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1992.
  • Menez, Joseph Francis. Summaries of Leading Cases of the Constitution. Savage, MD: Littlefield, Adams, 1990.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972