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Lichter v. United States

United States Supreme Court
334 U.S. 742 (1948)


In 1942, Congress passed the Renegotiation Act, 56 Stat. 226, 245-46, (the Act) to respond to the increased need for wartime equipment resulting from World War II hostilities. The legislation authorized the government to determine and collect back excessive profits made by private contractors. A number of contractors (plaintiffs) challenged the constitutionality of the Act, arguing that it was an unconstitutional attempt to delegate legislative power to administrative officials. The plaintiffs contended that the policies and standards to be used to make the excessive profit determinations were not sufficiently clear, and therefore, the Act was not a lawful delegation of administrative authority, but was instead an unconstitutional assignment of legislative power. The Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the Act, and the private contractors appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Burton, J.)

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