What was Munn v. Illinois?


Quick Answer

Munn v. Illinois was an influential Supreme Court case that determined the constitutionality of states to regulate corporate activity for certain businesses, according to Wikipedia. Additionally, it addressed the ability of a state to regulate the activities of businesses engaged in interstate transportation.

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Full Answer

The Munn v. Illinois case was an important Supreme Court case due to the fact that it established some of the constitutional powers and rights of states. Because of this case, Wikipedia explains that it became apparent that states had the power to regulate the activities of certain businesses within their borders.

According to JRank, this case strictly demarcated the jurisdiction of interstate commerce between Congress and the states. Furthermore, the case also determined that the activity of businesses were protected by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution despite that amendment being passed specifically to protect those who were former slaves.

Although the case was settled in the U.S. Supreme Court with victory going to Illinois, the decision was not without its dissenters. According to Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute, Stephen Field wrote the dissenting opinion. Justice William Strong intended to write a separate dissent, but signed on to Field's dissent due to time constraints.

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