Nevvia v. New York, 291 U.S. 502 (1934)

Case Name: Nevvia v. New York
Citation: 291 U.S. 502 (1934)


Issue:Whether the creation of the New York Milk Control Board, which had the power to set minimum and maximum prices for milk, violated a retailer’s right to due process under the 14th amendment.


Facts: New York created a Milk Control Board which had the power to “fix minimum and maximum retail prices” for a quart of milk. The purpose of the Milk Control Board was to protect farmers who were receiving less for their milk than the cost of production.
Nebbia, the owner of a grocery store sold two quarts and a 5 cent loaf of bread for 18 cents and was convicted of violating the Milk Board’s order. Nebbia contends that the enforcement of the law denied him due process under the 14th Amendment.


Holding: Upheld price regulations for milk. As far as due process is concerned, “and in the absence of other constitutional restriction a state is free to adopt whatever economic policy may reasonably be deemed to promote public welfare, and to enforce that policy by legislation adapted to its purpose.”


Reasoning: Milk is an essential item of our diet and is also need of safeguards because it cannot be stored long and is an excellent medium for the growth of bacteria. The cost of production increases because of the safeguards needed in the production of milk. If producers do not receive a reasonable return, it is very likely they will not take the proper safeguards.


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