Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Will history repeat itself?
On April 8, 1952, President Harry Truman ordered Commerce Secretary Charles Sawyer to seize and take over operation of most of the country’s steel mills. Truman cited no legislative authority for his actions. Instead, he cited the Korean War. Truman claimed there was a national emergency and his presidential war powers were all the authority he needed to nationalize the steel industry. The steel companies fought back, and in the landmark case Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer the Supreme Court found Truman’s actions to be unconstitutional.