Munn v. Illinois

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Munn v. Illinois

94 U.S. 113 (1877), upheld the power of government to regulate private industries. A Chicago grain warehouse firm (Munn) had been found guilty of violating state law concerning maximum rates that customers could be charged for storage and transportation of grain. The firm appealed to the Supreme Court, which nevertheless ruled that state power to regulate extends to private industries (such as grain storage facilities) that affect the public interest. Although the case marked a turning point in the struggle for public regulation of private enterprise, later court decisions sharply curtailed the government's power to regulate business.

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