The States Lose

The precedent-smashing U.S. Supreme Court this week smashed another—this time one that had stood for 75 years. It ruled that the $5,800,000,000 fire-insurance business, which had been supervised by the states, comes under interstate commerce. As such, insurance will immediately become subject to federal supervision under the antitrust laws. The Court brushed aside pleas of 35 state governors that federal regulation would destroy the "sovereignty of the states."

This was a resounding victory for Attorney General Francis Biddle, and a whacking defeat for not only the governors, but the States' rights bloc in Congress. In a futile race with the...

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