317 U.S. 111, 63 S.Ct. 82, 87 L.Ed. 122 ( 1942)
The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 was passed by Congress in an effort to stabilize agricultural production. The basic scheme as applied to wheat involved an annual proclamation by the Secretary of Agriculture of a national acreage allotment, which was then apportioned to states, and eventually passed on in the form of quotas to the individual farmer. If more than one-third of the farmers subject to the Act disapproved by referendum the proposed national quota, the effect of the Act was to be suspended. Penalties were imposed for production in excess of an agreed-upon quota. Filburn, a wheat farmer, produced wheat in excess of his quota for use on his own farm, and resisted Payment of the penalty by seeking an injunction against Secretary of Agriculture Wickard and other officials. A three-judge district court issued the injunction on the ground that the Secretary of Agriculture had made an improper and misleading speech in supporting the adoption of the quota by referendum, and further, that a retroactive increase in the penalty for excess production and marketing violated the Fifth Amendment. On appeal the Supreme Court rejected both of these lower-court holdings. The opinion excerpts that follow deal with the main constitutional issue of whether the regulation involved here was within the commerce power.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON delivered the opinion of the Court....
It is urged that under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, Article I, §8, clause 3, Congress does not possess the power it has in this instance sought to exercise. The question would merit little consideration since our decision in United States v. Darby... sustaining the federal power to regulate production of goods for commerce except for the fact that this Act extends federal regulation to production not intended in any part for commerce but wholly for consumption on the farm. The Act includes a definition of "market" and its derivatives so that as related to wheat in addition to its conventional meaning it also means to dispose of "by feeding (in any form) to poultry or livestock which, or the products of which, are sold, bartered, or exchanged, or to be so disposed of." Hence, marketing quotas not only embrace all that may be sold without penalty but also what may be consumed on the premises. Wheat produced on excess acreage is designated as "available for marketing" as so defined and the penalty is imposed thereon. Penalties do not depend upon whether any part of the wheat either within or without the quota is sold or intended to be sold. The sum of this is that the Federal Government fixes a quota including all that the farmer may harvest for sale