SWIFT & CO. v. UNITED STATES

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
103
Petitioner 
Swift & Co.
Respondent 
United States
Term:
Facts of the Case 

A "meat trust" developed in Chicago, in which major dealers of meat agreed not to bid against one another in order to control prices. The trust also pressured the railroads into charging them lower-than-normal rates. The U.S. government attacked the trust as an unlawful economic monopoly.

Question 

Did Congress have the authority to regulate the meat trust under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act?

Conclusion 

In a unanimous decision, the Court held that congressional power under the Commerce Clause justified regulations of the meat trust. The Court held that the effect of the trust on commerce among states was not "accidental, secondary, remote or merely probable," but rather a direct attempt to monopolize commerce. Business done at the stockyards was found to be one part of a continuous stream of commerce. The Court drew a distinction between manufacturing monopolies, which had only indirect effects on commerce, and sales monopolies, which had direct and intended effects on commerce.

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SWIFT & CO. v. UNITED STATES. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 20 July 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1904/1904_103>.
SWIFT & CO. v. UNITED STATES, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1904/1904_103 (last visited July 20, 2014).
"SWIFT & CO. v. UNITED STATES," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed July 20, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1904/1904_103.