The Supreme Court found six of Roosevelt's eight major New Deal statutes unconstitutional, most often due to instances where Congress attempted to exercise the Interstate Commerce Clause in a manner not compatible with the Constitution. [
In Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan, 293 US 388 (1935), (aka the Hot Oil Case) the Supreme Court invalidated a section of the National Industrial Recovery Act that regulated the sale of petroleum products between states and foreign entities. The Court held that Congress had overstepped its authority by delegating to the President powers not enumerated in the Constitution. The overturned section of the act prohibited the sale of petroleum in excess of undefined state quotas, and failed to set criteria for applicability of the statute.
In Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton Railway Co., 295 US 330 (1935), the Court invalidated the Railroad Pension Act of 1934 as violating several provisions of the constitution, including passage of ex post facto laws, and creating arbitrary rules and obligations in a manner prohibited by the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause. The Railroad Pension Act made workers who had been employed prior to enactment of the statute eligible for pensions despite their not having contributed to the retirement funds. In addition, the law included former employees who had been fired for cause or who had worked for only a short duration. The Court also held that forcing pensions into a single, pooled fund was unfair to larger carriers who contributed more than smaller carriers, and was not a legitimate exercise of Congressional power under the Interstate Commerce Clause.
In Schechter Poultry Corp. v. US, 295 US 495 (1935), the Supreme Court found certain government-imposed regulations of the poultry industry, such as price- and wage-fixing, unconstitutional. The decision limited the government's power to act under the Interstate Commerce Clause, which it had applied to intrastate commerce, and invalidated a ... (More)