MASSACHUSETTS v. MELLON

Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
24 ORIG
Petitioner 
Massachusetts
Respondent 
Mellon
Consolidation 
Frothingham v. Mellon, No. 962
Decided By 
Term:
Location: Congress
Facts of the Case 

In 1921, Congress enacted The Maternity Act. The Act provided grants to states that agreed to establish programs aimed at protecting the health and welfare of infants and mothers. Frothingham brought suit as a Massashusetts taxpayer, claiming the Act would result in "taxation for illegal purposes." This case was decided together with Frothingham v. Mellon.

Question 

Did the expenditure of funds under the Maternity Act of 1921 violate the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment?

Conclusion 

In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the administration of federal statutes "likely to produce addition taxation to be imposed upon a vast number of taxpayers" was essentially a matter of public and not of individual concern. The Court emphasized that it had no power to review or annul acts of Congress without showing that an individual had sustained or was in immediate danger of sustaining a direct injury as a result of the statute. Suffering "in some indefinite way in common with people generally" was not an adequate basis for judicial review.

Cite this Page
MASSACHUSETTS v. MELLON. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 20 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1922/1922_24>.
MASSACHUSETTS v. MELLON, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1922/1922_24 (last visited October 20, 2014).
"MASSACHUSETTS v. MELLON," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 20, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1922/1922_24.