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J.W. Hampton, Junior & Co. v. United States

United States Supreme Court
276 U.S. 394 (1928)


J.W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. (Hampton) (plaintiff) was an importer of barium dioxide. The statutory tariff on barium dioxide was four cents per pound. Under § 315 of Title III of the Tariff Act, 19 U.S.C. §§ 154–59 (which was repealed in 1930), the president was authorized to appoint a Tariff Commission. Further, with the Tariff Commission’s advice and in accordance with specific guidelines, the president was empowered to adjust tariff rates. Under these provisions, the president increased the tariff on barium dioxide from four to six cents. Hampton was assessed six cents per pound on its barium dioxide, despite the statutory tariff amount remaining at four cents per pound. Hampton appealed the six-cent tariff, arguing that Congress had illegally delegated its legislative powers to the president by authorizing the president to set tariff rates.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Taft, C.J.)

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