Stark v. Wickard

321 U.S. 288 (1944)


Ps are producers of milk. Ps instituted this class action to prohibit D from carrying out certain provisions of his Order No. 4, effective August 1, 1941, dealing with the marketing of milk in the Greater Boston, Massachusetts, area. By Order No. 4, D fixed minimum prices for each class of milk and required each handler in the Boston area to pay not less than those minima to producers. The Order requires several adjustments for purposes admittedly authorized by statute so that the determination of the blended price as actually made is drawn from the total use value less a sum which D is directed to retain to meet various incidental adjustments. In practice, each handler discharges his obligation to the producers of whom he bought milk by making two payments: one payment, the blended price, is apportioned from the values at the minimum price for the respective classes less administrative deductions and is made to the producer himself; 14 the other payment is equal to these deductions and is made, in the language of the Order, 'to the producer, through the market administrator,' in order to enable the administrator to cover the differentials and deductions in question. Ps contend that the Act does not authorize D to include in his order provision for payments of that kind or for deductions to meet them. The order required handlers to pay the administrator the amount of the administrative deductions for payment to milk cooperatives. Ps case was dismissed in that the petition fails to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The court of appeals affirmed, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari.