Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: April 6, 1938


4/6/1938: United States v. Carolene Products argued.

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  1. You wonder how this case would have turned out today. Footnoting in WordPerfect is easy. In Word it’s a multi point and click pain in the ass.

    1. It’s been that way since the 1980s. WordPerfect evolved from Perfect Writer while Word evolved from Wordstar which was a clearly inferior product.

      In the early 1990s, WordPerfect was the standard in academia (and I presume elsewhere) — DOS based with four levels of commands for all 12 function keys and a cardboard strip to tape onto your keyboard to remind you of which four things each button did.

      Much as it did to Netscape, Microsquish bought the second-rate product and used its market dominance to bully it into dominance. Microsoft’s products *worked*, but they really weren’t quite as good….

      1. I agree with Dr. Ed 2 100%.

        1. P.S. In the early days it was only 10 function keys, set on the left of the keyboard. You could access all the commands without moving your hands from standard touch-typing position — allowing one to work much faster than we can now. We are now stuck with the 12 function key keyboard because of a Microsoft project (which everyone had to follow of course) which didn’t pan out. And of course we now have to use the mouse, which always slows you down.

          1. I do not remember all details, but I was the first lawyer at my firm to use a word processor and the last to switch to Word from WordPerfect.

            1. We used WordPerfect because we wanted to. We use Word because we have to.

              1. At some point — I can’t remember the precipitate — it became too difficult to stick with WordPerfect.

                As Word became dominant, costs of sticking with WordPerfect for as long as I did became apparent.

  2. As I understand this case, nothing prevented the intrastate sale of filled milk — one could (for example) manufacture and sell it within NY or NJ or MA unless the particular state also outlawed it.

    Compare that to the bump stock ban.

    The other thing often not mentioned is that filled milk was actually safer than a lot of the milk available in urban areas. Dairy rules are strict today *because* they had so much illness (and death) associated with milk a century ago, and not just from a lack of refrigeration. There were a lot of communicable diseases spread by milk.

    So what the law and decision did was to place the interests of a powerful lobby over those of the public health. That really ought to be mentioned in discussing this case…

    1. One also needs to remember that — like butter, cheese and cream cheese — filled milk was a way of *preserving* milk in an era more closely tied to the seasons.

      A century ago, a lot of people living in what we would today consider suburbia had a cow or two for personal usage — they weren’t “farmers” in the sense we think of “farmers” today, it was more of a subsistence agriculture where you raised most of your own food and mostly only bought staples such as flour and sugar from the store.

      Well, cows only give milk after the birth of a calf, and that was more seasonal when you had unheated barns and a significant portion of the cow’s diet being live grass in the field — particularly in areas more temperate than California.

      So filled milk (and evaporated milk) were products to “put by” — to purchase and store for future use in the winter when your cow might be dry.

      1. Reading the description in the opinion, filled milk sounds pretty gross. You can still buy it in supermarkets.

        1. That is for the consumer to decide, nor for the know nothing, lawyer dumbass profession, at the point of a gun of a federal marshal. Your profession stinks, and must be stopped to save our nation.

  3. Another shameful example of lawyers setting national policy on a technical subject, milk. about which they know nothing. This decision is on the list lawyer dumbass mistakes. These lawyer dumbasses could not even read the 8th grade English of the constitution, and just make stuff up in the interests of their rich bosses. When will this devastating, out of control occupation get crushed to save our nation?

  4. In 1982 my Con Law Prof Louis Lusky was clerking for Justice Stone and helped draft the footnote. He had copies of the drafts of the footnote marked up by hand in his office. One of the few classes I enjoined in law school. One idiot in the class referred to it as the Carolina Products footnote. I will always remember Prof Lusky’s look of disbelief at that student. Thanks for the opportunity to remember.

  5. “In 1982 my Con Law Prof Louis Lusky was clerking for Justice Stone”

    That sounds like the real story here.

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