Granholm v. Heald
Residents of Michigan and New York sued the state officials
claiming that the laws violated the dormant Commerce Clause (Oyez, n.d.). The states allowed in-state wineries to ship
directly to consumers but restricted out of state wineries to do the same. The
state officials argued that the laws were valid under the 21st
The dormant Commerce Clause gives Congress the power over
interstate commerce and does not allow states to interfere (Case Briefs, n.d.).
Section 2 of the 21st Amendment deals directly
with regulations on the shipment of wine and non-discrimination of out-of-state
wine producers (Find Law, 2017).
Federal District Court ruled for Michigan that the state laws were valid state powers under the
Federal district court ruled against New York that the state laws were valid.
Court of Appeals ruled against Michigan claiming that the
law violated the dormant commerce clause and certain aspects of the 21st
Amendment. Another Court of Appeals
reversed and allowed New York’s law due to the 21st Amendment (Oyez,
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that both states laws violated
both the dormant Commerce Clause and the 21st Amendment.
This impacts business today because states are not permitted
to make laws regarding interstate commerce.
Gibbons v. Ogden
This case involved the rights of competing ferry services to
operate in New York waterways. New York state government granted a monopoly to only
one ferry company to operate in the waterways (College for America, 2017).
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gave Congress the
power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among states (Case Briefs,
New York State courts consistently ruled
in favor of Ogden and the monopoly that the state awarded to him (Ogden).
Gibbons appealed to New York Court of Errors and then
appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court that this should be ruled by Congress, and not
the state of New York, because it dealt with interstate commerce.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Congress, and not
the state, has the authority to regulate commerce.
This case impacts business today because it gave the federal
government authority (over and above states’ rights) to regulate interstate
commerce. This case has impacted business, such as railroads, oil and gas
pipelines and airlines, allowing them to operate across state lines.
Lochner v. New York
This case involved a New York state law that limited bakers
to work no more than 10 hours per day or 60 hours per week.
Does limiting the hours worked violate the 14th
Amendment by depriving an individual of making money which falls under liberty?
(College for America, 2017).
New York County Court ruled this as a violation of the Bakeshop
The Appellate Division and the New York Court of Appeals
agreed that this violated the labor law (Find Law, 2017).
The Supreme Court decided by a 5-4 vote that the law did
violate the 14th Amendment by not allowing employer or employee to
enter into contract which violated the right to liberty.
This case set a precedent for cases over the next three
decades where the Supreme Court ruled laws regulating working conditions, wages
and/or work hours as unconstitutional.
Today though, laws regarding working conditions, such as maximum working
hours, are considered constitutional.
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
Because of their religious beliefs, Hobby Lobby, Inc.
challenged the Department of Health and Human Services on the mandate that they
provide health care coverage to their employees for certain contraceptive
methods (College for America, 2017).
Does Hobby Lobby’s refusal to provide contraception coverage
fall under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993? (Oyez, 2017).
District Court ruled Hobby Lobby must pay tax penalties for
not providing the contraception coverage.
A two-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed, as
did the Supreme Court.
Hobby Lobby appealed for an en banc hearing (a hearing with
a full court of all the appeals judges instead of a two to four judge panel) (Law.com,
n.d.) with the Court of Appeals.
This en banc panel reversed and decided that Hobby Lobby had
the right to refuse contraception under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 vote that Hobby Lobby can
deny contractive coverage based on their religious beliefs under the Religious
This case impacts business today because for-profit
corporations are permitted to use their religious beliefs to be exempt from
federal laws such as providing healthcare coverage for contraception.