The Law School Authority

Perez v. US Case Brief

Summary of Perez v. US

Facts: Act bans “extortionate credit transactions, though purely intrastate.”  Loan sharking is traditionally a local activity.  

Issue: Can Congress ban a local activity as affecting interstate commerce?

Holding: The intrastate activity of “loan sharking” may affect interstate commerce and thus may be made criminal by Congress—and the courts have no power “to excise, as trivial, individual instances of the class.”  Loan sharking affects interstate commerce because the funds are used for organized crime.  There was no showing that this particular individual was involved in organized crime.  

The fact that any single business or individual regulated by Congress has only a small impact on interstate commerce is immaterial.  The crucial question is whether there is an aggregate effect on other states by the class of activities regulated.

Judgment: Upheld.  


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