Schechter Corp. v. United States. 495 U.S. 519-551 (1934).
ntervention by the courts into private property rights which he held to be sacrosanct (341). Law professor Christopher Langdell (1880) used the case method of instruction to enable students to gain "mastery . . . of certain [immutable and rational] principles and doctrines" (716). Roscoe Pound later decried this type of legal philosophy as mechanical jurisprudence, unresponsive to societal needs. Pound (1931) said: "Law is more than a body of devices for business purposes, just as it is more than a body of rules for the guidance of courts" (npn).
From the standpoint of blacks, women, workers, farmers and minorities generally, the Court's decisions were disappointing. In Hall v. DeCuir (1877), the Court used the Commerce Clause to strike down a Louisiana statute which had outlawed racial segregation in public transportation. In the Civil Rights cases, (1883), the Court construed the 14th Amendment narrowly to limit the power of Congress to prevent racial discrimination in public accommodations by the states. These decisions, and later ones, such as Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which involved a Louisiana statute which segregated the races on trains and which was upheld by the Court on states rights grounds so long as the separate facilities were roughly equal, reflected the dominant thinking of that era and not only in the South.
Holmes, Oliver W. The Common Law (1881). In Law and Jurisprudence, eds. (nfn)Presser & (nfn)Zainalden, 720-729. 3d Ed. St. Paul: West Publishing, 1995.
Gitlow v. New York (1925). In American Legal History, eds. (nfn)Hall & (nfn)Weicek, 418. 2d Ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996.
In practice, rulings of the high court were often pragmatic and took many twists and turns. Despite its predilection toward the protection of private property and liberty of contract, the Court permitted the states a fair degree of latitude in the exercise of their police powers. In Munn v. Illinois