J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States

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J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394(1928), is a landmark[1][2] case in the United States in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that congressional delegation of legislative authority is an implied power of Congress that is constitutional so long as Congress provides an "intelligible principle" to guide the executive branch. This creates what is called the Nondelegation doctrine.


Justice Clarence Thomas offered a stinging rebuke of this intelligible principle in his written opinion in the Whitman v. American Trucking Assns., Inc. case[3][4]

In allowing congress to delegate its powers to the Executive Branch in violation of the principles of separation of power, the supreme court played an important role in the long term viability of the administrative state.


  1. [1], In Mistretta v. United States, the Court refers to J. W. Hampton as landmark.
  2. (2001) American Constitutional Law: Powers and Liberties. Aspen Law & Business, 416. 
  3. Volokh, Sasha. Justice Thomas delivers what he promised on February 27, 2001. Washington Post.
  4. Whitman v. American Trucking Assns., Inc. (February 27, 2001).

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