The way of governmental price regulation has been hard, and such regulation has been carefully confined to businesses clothed with a "public interest." An exception has been recognized where an "emergency" occurs in a business outside of the strict utility field. However, the apparent disruption of the competitive system during the present depression has been productive of legislation seeking to overcome the evils of that system. In People v. Nebbia, the Court of Appeals of New York sustained a recent act of the legislature creating a milk control Board and authorizing the fixing of milk prices for a 12-month period. Chief Judge Pound, in writing the majority opinion, stressed the emergency condition which gave rise to the legislation, and was careful to accord the legislative determination of conditions the utmost respect. An important aspect of the majority opinion is a clear recognition of the great expansive quality of the police power. On the other hand Judge O'Brien, dissenting, declared, from the precedents, that neither did an emergency exist nor could the regulation of prices be sustained consistently with due process of law. These two opinions are representative of two lines of approach toward the problem of price fixing.
Maurice S. Culp,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - PRICE FIXING - EMERGENCY LEGISLATION,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol32/iss1/4