Fletcher v. Peck Case Brief

Facts of the Case

A contract of sale between the parties was made in the form of a bill passed by the legislature. Grantor brought an action of covenant upon a deed, and assigned, as a breach, that some of the members of the legislature were induced to vote in favor of the law, which constituted the contract, by being promised an interest in it, and that therefore the act was a mere nullity. There were demurrers to three pleas filed in the circuit court, and a special verdict found on an issue joined on the fourth plea. The pleas were all sustained, and judgment was rendered for the defendant. Plaintiff appealed. The court found that overruling the demurrers was correct.

Question

Does the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 prohibit a public employer from compelling its employees to use their compensatory time without a preexisting agreement?

CONCLUSION

The legislature’s repeal of the law was unconstitutional under Article I, Section 10, Clause I (the Contract Clause) of the United States Constitution. The majority concluded the sale between Fletcher and Peck was a binding contract, which under the Contract Clause cannot be invalidated even if it is illegally secured.

Case Information

Citation: 10 US 87 (1810)
Argued: Feb 16, 1810