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Grant number like: FB-51819-05

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Paul Kens
Texas State University - San Marcos (San Marcos, TX 78666-4684)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2005 – 5/31/2006

Economic Regulation and the U.S. Constitution, 1874-1888: Balancing Individual Liberty and Community Welfare

This is a study about the relationship between individual liberty and community welfare in the American constitutional system. Specifically, it focuses on the Supreme Court’s efforts to balance these ideals in the late nineteenth century. I begin with MUNN v. ILLINOIS (1877) where the Court recognized that, under some circumstances the Fourteenth Amendment might limit a state’s regulatory power, but said that properly enacted legislation is presumed to be valid. I then trace this issue to the 1890s when the Court reversed itself and the idea that economic regulation violated the Fourteenth Amendment would become the rule rather than the exception.