WICKARD v. FILBURN

Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
59
Petitioner 
Wickard
Respondent 
Filburn
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Filburn was a small farmer in Ohio. He was given a wheat acreage allotment of 11.1 acres under a Department of Agriculture directive which authorized the government to set production quotas for wheat. Filburn harvested nearly 12 acres of wheat above his allotment. He claimed that he wanted thewheat for use on his farm, including feed for his poultry and livestock. Fiburn was penalized. He argued that the excess wheat was unrelated to commerce since he grew it for his own use.

Question 

Is the amendment subjecting Filburn to acreage restrictions in violation of the Constitution because Congress has no power to regulate activities local in nature?

Conclusion 
Decision: 8 votes for Wickard, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: US Const. Art 1, Section 8, Clause 3; Agricultural Adjustment Act

According to Filburn, the act regulated production and consumption, which are local in character. The rule laid down by Justice Jackson is that even if an activity is local and not regarded as commerce, "it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce, and this irrespective of whether such effect is what might at some earlier time have been defined as 'direct' or 'indirect.'"

Cite this Page
WICKARD v. FILBURN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 21 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1942/1942_59>.
WICKARD v. FILBURN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1942/1942_59 (last visited September 21, 2014).
"WICKARD v. FILBURN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 21, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1942/1942_59.