The Hughes Court (1930–41)

Commerce and Labor

CourtSpeak: Helvering v. Davis Social Security Act Case (1937)

Justice Benjamin Cardozo (majority): “The purge of nation-wide calamity that began in 1929 has taught us many lessons…. But the ill is all one or at least not greatly different whether men are thrown out of work because there is no longer work to do or because the disabilities of age make them incapable of doing it. Rescue becomes necessary irrespective of the cause. The hope behind this statute is to save men and women from the rigors of the poor house as well as from the haunting fear that such a lot awaits them when journey’s end is near.”


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