In 1971, using authority delegated to him by Congress, President Nixon imposed wage and price controls to try to get inflation under control. This was known as the Nixon Shock.
There was a district court case, Amalgamated Meat Cutters v. Connally, on the constitutionality of the measures, but the only legal issue that seems to have been addressed in this case seems to have been whether or not Congress could legally delegate this power to the president.
Regardless of the delegation issue, was there any test at the time of, or had it already been established, whether Congress even had the constitutional power in the first place to do this, if it had chosen to do it without delegating it? It seems pretty far out for the legislature to claim the power to invalidate an employment contract and force the employee to be paid less.
Was this underlying issue argued at all in Amalgamated Meat Cutters? What would be the constitutional basis for this power? The interstate commerce clause? In that case, would the wage and price controls not apply to a purely local business?
Is this related to the question of the constitutionality of minimum wage laws?