United States v. Darby Lumber Co.U.S. Case Law
Legal Definition of United States v. Darby Lumber Co.
312 U.S. 100 (1941), held that the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) mandating federal wage and hours standards applies to the local manufacture of goods even if those goods are only indirectly part of interstate commerce. The decision overturned Hammer v. Dagenhart, which prohibited Congress from encroaching on state powers to determine local labor conditions. In Darby the Court ruled that, although only some of the goods manufactured by Darby Lumber Co. were to be shipped through interstate commerce, the production of all Darby goods was subject to federal regulation because such production was part of the mainstream of the company's activities that affected interstate commerce. One year later, in Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), the Court ruled that Congress may regulate certain activities (such as local agriculture) that are neither commercial nor interstate if they exert “a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce.”
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