One of the bad law school jokes of the 1930s went like this: Why did the chicken cross the state line? To get around the limits of Schechter Poultry.

In Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935), the Supreme Court had struck down a central piece of New Deal legislation on the ground that it exceeded congressional power in violation of the commerce clause of the Constitution. The notion at the time was that if legislation dealt exclusively with interstate relations, it might pass judicial muster.

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