The Fuller Court (1888–1910)


CourtSpeak: United States v. E. C. Knight Antitrust Case (1895)

Chief Justice Melville Fuller (majority): “Contracts, combinations, or conspiracies to control domestic enterprise in manufacture, agriculture mining, production in all its forms, or to raise or lower prices or wages, might unquestionably tend to restrain external as well as domestic trade, but the restraint would be an indirect result, however inevitable, and whatever its extent, and such result would not necessarily determine the object of the contract, combination, or conspiracy.”

Justice John Marshall Harlan (dissenting): “If this combination, so far as its operations necessarily or directly affect interstate commerce, cannot be restrained or suppressed under some power granted to congress, it will be cause for regret that the patriotic statesmen who framed the constitution did not foresee the necessity of investing the national government with power to deal with gigantic monopolies holding in their grasp, and injuriously controlling in their own interest, the entire trade among the states in food products that are essential to the comfort of every household in the land.”


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