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Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952), also commonly referred to as the Steel Seizure Case or the Youngstown Steel case, was a United States Supreme Court decision that limited the power of the President of the United States to seize private property. The case served as a check on the most far-reaching claims of executive power at the time and signaled the Court's increased willingness to intervene in political questions.
In the midst of the Korean War, the United Steel Workers of America threatened a strike, for higher wages, against the major steel producers in the United States. As President Harry S. Truman believed that a strike of any length would cause severe dislocations for defense contractors, Truman seized control of steel production facilities, keeping the current operating management of the companies in place to run the plants under federal direction. Though the steelworkers supported the move, the steel companies launched a legal challenge to the seizure on the grounds that the president lacked the power to seize private property without express authorization from Congress.
In his majority opinion, Associate Justice Hugo Black held that the president lacked the power to seize the steel mills in the absence of statutory authority conferred on him by Congress. Five other justices agreed with the outcome of the case but wrote concurring opinions; some of these justices argued that the president might have the power to seize property absent legislative authorization in more extreme circumstances. Justice Robert H. Jackson's concurring opinion laid out a tripartite framework of presidential power that would prove influential among legal scholars and others charged with assessing executive power. In his dissent, Chief Justice Fred Vinson argued that the president's action was necessary to preserve the status quo so that Congress could act in the future. Truman was stunned by the decision, but he immediately restored control of the steel mills to their owners.

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