In Munn v. Illinois the U.S. Supreme Court upheld state price regulation of grain elevators. The Court took some inspiration from Lord Mathew Hale's notion that a business "affected with a public interest" requires special regulatory attention. "Every ferry," Lord Hale wrote in the Seventeenth Century, "ought to be under public regulation, to wit: that it give attendance at due time, keep a boat in due order, and take a reasonable toll."

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