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Stafford v. Wallace

Significance, Stockyards In The Stream Of Commerce, Taking On The Monopolies, Defining And Expanding The Concept


Stafford and Company, a firm engaged in the buying and selling of livestock


Henry C. Wallace, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Petitioner's Claim

That the operation of stockyards did not constitute interstate commerce, and therefore Congress did not have authority under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

E. Godman

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

James Montgomery Beck, U.S. Solicitor General

Justices for the Court

Louis D. Brandeis, John Hessin Clarke, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Joseph McKenna, Mahlon Pitney, William Howard Taft (writing for the Court), Willis Van Devanter

Justices Dissenting

James Clark McReynolds (William Rufus Day did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

1 May 1922


Upheld the authority of Congress to enforce the act over stockyards, which the Court ruled were not "places of rest or a final destination," but rather "a throat through which the current of commerce flows."

Additional topics

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