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Facts of the Case 

In 1921, Congress enacted the Packers and Stockyards Act in an attempt to regulate activities of meat packers that were unfair, discriminatory, or deceptive and encouraged the formation of monopolies. Stafford sought an injunction against the enforcement of the Act. After his application was denied, he sought review by the Supreme Court. This case was decided together with Burton v. Clyne.


Did Congress have authority under the Commerce Clause to pass and enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921?


In a 7-to-1 decision, the Court held that the activities controlled by the Act did indeed burden the freedom of commerce and fell within the regulatory jurisdiction of Congress. The Court argued that Congress did not have to wait until after deleterious economic monopolies had developed to regulate particular industries. Drawing on its decision in Swift v. United States, the Court found that business done in the stockyards was an essential part of interstate commerce and thus subject to national legislation.

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STAFFORD v. WALLACE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 04 September 2015. <>.
STAFFORD v. WALLACE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited September 4, 2015).
"STAFFORD v. WALLACE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 4, 2015,