Borden’s Farm Products Co., Inc. v. Ten Eyck

Supreme Court of the United States

297 U.S. 251 (1936)

If a price-fixing statute attempts to maintain an existing status quo in a competitive market, the statute does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, even if that status quo is a price differential between different classes of competitors.

Relevant Facts

The State of New York (the defendant) passed a statute setting a temporary minimum price for milk. The statute permitted off-brand milk to be priced one cent per quart lower than name-brand milk. The statute was enacted to stabilize the milk market during the Great Depression. Borden’s Farms Company, Inc. (the plaintiff) sold name-brand milk and brought suit against the defendant, arguing that the statute violated its right to equal protection under the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. Prior to the enactment of the statute, name-brand milk was sold, on average, at prices at least one cent per quart higher than off-brand milk because of natural market forces spurred on by heavy advertising by name-brand milk dealers. The lower courts held that the statute was constitutional. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 12, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

297 U.S. 251 (1936)