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Munn v. Illinois

Court Case
by

Amber Bigbee

on 6 December 2012

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Transcript of Munn v. Illinois

Munn v. Illinois Background 'In the (1877), case in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the power of government to regulate private industries.

The case developed as a result of the Illinois legislature’s responding in 1871 to pressure from the National Grange, an association of farmers, by setting maximum rates that private companies could charge for the storage and transport of agricultural products. Rulings of lower courts In this case the lower court upheld the law that was made. Afterwords the Supreme Court caught the case and they did a trial on it. Arguments of both sides Munn Decision! Dissent 'Justice Stephen J. Field argued against the Munn opinion as an invasion of private property rights, which he said were protected against state power by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Justice Field wanted to limit the use of state “police power” to regulate businesses.' Impact The Munn case posed a clear and important question for a nation with rapidly developing industries. Did the Constitution permit a state to regulate privately owned businesses? Other Details The case of Munn v. Illinois allowed states to regulate certain businesses within their borders, including railroads, and is commonly regarded as a milestone in the growth of federal government regulation. It was a United States Supreme Court case dealing with corporate rates and agriculture. Conclusion ' "A state,"Justice Roberts announced in words that waite would have approve, "is free to adopt whatever economic policy may reasonably be deemed to promote the public welfare, and to enforce that policy by legislation adapted to its purpose." '
Illinois
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the states. It said the Illinois state legislature could fix maximum rates for grain storage in Chicago and other places in the state. Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite set forth a doctrine that both Congress and state legislatures still use to regulate many private business activities-the doctrine of “business affected with a public interest.” 'all elevators or storehouses where grain or other property is stored for a compensation, whether the property stored be kept separate or not, are declared to be public warehouses.' 'one devotes his property to a use in which the public has an interest, he, in effect, grants to the public an interest in that use, and must not submit to be controlled by the public, to the extent of the interest he has thus created.'
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