If we're going to write a post on interesting legal happenings on this date, we should probably start by noting a couple of birthdays. Today in 1907 was the birthday of biologist/ Silent Spring
author Rachel Carson, who brought us modern environmentalism and the EPA. And this date in 1923 gave the world Henry Kissinger, who is, interestingly enough, not
the only Nobel Peace Prize winner to also suffer allegations of being a war criminal.
Of course, since it's late May, the more interesting legal events of the day are inevitably going to be the Supreme Court opinions which inevitably rain down upon us at this time of year. And sure enough, we have two classics to bring you back to the finer points of torts and con law:
1935: A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States
, a/k/a the Sick Chicken case: who remembers their con law and can quickly recite the facts and holding? No one? Fine, we'll give you the holding at least: the court struck down the National Industrial Recovery Act, a major piece of New Deal legislation, as, among other things, not within Congress's power to enact under the Commerce Clause. Sound familiar? You'll also recall that the court had a change of heart the very next year, and that Congress would subsequently spend the next 60 years blissfully expanding its Commerce Clause authority to regulate absolutely anything it wanted to.