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National League of Cities v. Usery

Significance, A Violation Of The Tenth Amendment, The Court Affirms, Dissent: The Tenth As A "truism"


National League of Cities, et al.


W. J. Usery Jr., U.S. Secretary of Labor

Appellant's Claim

That 1974 congressional amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act, placing state governments under the authority of minimum wage and maximum hour provisions in the act, constituted a violation of the Tenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Charles S. Rhyne

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Robert Bork, U.S. Solicitor General

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), Potter Stewart

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

24 June 1976


That congressional use of the Fair Labor Standards Act to regulate the states' employment policy was unconstitutional because it violated the Tenth Amendment, which reserves for the states all power not delegated to the federal government.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980