Munn v. Illinois


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Munn v. Illinois,

case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1876. Munn, a partner in a Chicago warehouse firm, had been found guilty by an Illinois court of violating the state laws providing for the fixing of maximum charges for storage of grain (see Granger movementGranger movement,
American agrarian movement taking its name from the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, an organization founded in 1867 by Oliver H. Kelley and six associates. Its local units were called granges and its members grangers.
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). He appealed, contending that the fixing of maximum rates constituted a taking of property without due process of law. The Supreme Court upheld the Granger laws, establishing as constitutional the principle of public regulation of private businesses involved in serving the public interest.
References in periodicals archive ?
Not directly, but in 1877, when the election and the somewhat forgotten case of Munn v. Illinois were decided, both proved pivotal to establishing Congress's current power to regulate commerce "affected with a public interest." Many argue the Progressive era or NLRB v.
Through a number of creative and forceful opinions, particularly his dissents in the Slaughterhouse Cases (1873) and Munn v. Illinois (1877), and his concurrence in Butchers' Union Co.
In 1877 the Court heard arguments in Munn v. Illinois, one of the so-called Granger cases, which dealt with various state laws regulating railroad shipping rates.
Viewed in this light, Justice Stephen Field's famous Munn v. Illinois dissent in which he decried regulation as tantamount to confiscation merely echoes the Federalist, in which Publius expresses chagrin at the "rage for paper money" and other popular vices.
The numerous railway challenges to these laws, of course, made their way to the Supreme Court and were rejected in Munn v. Illinois.
In the history of regulation, the Supreme Court's decision in Munn v. Illinois (1877) stands as a pivotal case.