Supreme Court Decision
Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority
This decision has less to do with any far-reaching constitutional issue, than it does with the Court's reiteration of the circumstances under which it will consider the constitutionality of a statute.
The case in question was a claim by stockholders of a small utility company that the TVA -- a large, government-owned construction project that sold electricity generated as a byproduct of building dams and waterways -- was unconstitutional. The Court ruled that the government had a right to involve itself with such construction when it affects national security, enhances interstate commerce, and produces other general public benefits, and that Article IV Section 3 of the Constitution gave it the right to sell property -- i.e. electricity in this case -- that it had gained legally.
In writing his concurring opinion, Justice Louis Brandeis expressed concern that such a simple disagreement should have reached the high court. He included in his opinion a list of guidelines, which came to be known as the Ashwander Rules, under which the Court might agree to review the constitutionality of legislation. Briefly, they were as follows:
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Other decisions pertaining to Judicial Review:
Baker v. Carr [369 U.S. 186 (1962)] Warren Court
Fletcher v. Peck [10 U.S. 87 (1810)] Marshall Court
Marbury v. Madison [5 U.S. 137 (1803)] Marshall Court
McCulloch v. Maryland [17 U.S. 316 (1819)] Marshall Court
Scott v. Sandford [60 U.S. 393 (1857)] Taney Court
United States v. Carolene Products [304 U.S. 145 (1905)] Hughes Court