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Carter v. Carter Coal Co.

Significance, Citing States' Rights, Court Stymies New Deal Legislation, The Bituminous Coal Conservation Act


James Walter Carter


Carter Coal Co.

Petitioner's Claim

That the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935, part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, was an unconstitutional intrusion of the federal government into rights reserved for the states under the Tenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Frederick H. Wood, William D. Whitney, Richard H. Wilmer

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Karl J. Hardy

Justices for the Court

Pierce Butler, Charles Evans Hughes, James Clark McReynolds, Owen Josephus Roberts, George Sutherland (writing for the Court), Willis Van Devanter

Justices Dissenting

Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Harlan Fiske Stone


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

18 March 1936


By a vote of 6-3, the Court struck down the act, holding that the Commerce Clause of Article II of the Constitution does not grant Congress the right to regulate commercial activities and labor relations.

Related Cases

  • Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935).
  • National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U.S. 1 (1937).

Further Readings

  • Benson, Paul Revere. The Supreme Court and the Commerce Clause, 1937-1970. New York: Dunellen, 1970.
  • Leuchtenburg, William Edward. The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.
  • Redish, Martin H. The Constitution as Political Structure. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Additional topics

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