The United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100 (1941), that Congress may regulate the labor standards of private employers through the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In this case, the National League of Cities (NLC) (plaintiffs) sought to challenge several amendments made in 1974 to the FLSA making it applicable to state government employers. NLC brought suit in federal district court against Usery (defendant), the Secretary of Labor, alleging that enforcement of the FLSA against states would violate the Tenth Amendment’s protection of states’ rights to conduct functions essential to their separate and independent existence from the federal government. The district court dismissed the claim for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. NLC appealed to the United States Supreme Court.