02.04 Federalism: Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918)
Submitted By vividskys
The vast conditions of Child labor became noticed during the Progressive Era. Numerous of states wanted to rid the restrictions of child labor but the attempt was unsuccessful. Even though Congress had a difficult time trying to cut the working hours and horrible conditions for the children, Congress found a way in and used an Act called the Keating-Owen Act. This Act banned the products of a labor from interstate commerce who worked children who were under fourteen or worked more than eight hours a day. This is where the Hammer V. Dagenhart case comes in. This case is fought with W.C. Hammer, who was a U.S attorney for the western district of North Carolina, and Roland Dagenhart who worked in a manufacturing bussiness in North Carolina. Dagenhart sued because of the new laws and then soon took it to Supreme Courts because he believed it was unconstitutional. When he took his case to the Supreme Court he presented them with three constitutional arguments. First, he argued that “the law was not a regulation of commerce”. Secondly, he held that “the Tenth Amendment left the power to make rules for child labor to the states”. Lastly, he stated that “his liberty and property protected by the Fifth Amendment included the right to allow his children to work.” This is an issue of federalism because when this case was taken to the Supreme Court, they were accused and charged for not recognizing both the Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment and how his statements where correct and related to those two. The Court came to a result that for Dagenharts argument they will cross out the Keating-Owen Act. With a 5-4 majority, the court determined that the act was indeed both an unconstitutional proposal of the Commerce Clause and a violation of state rights because he and his argument where protected by the Tenth Amendment. The minority just completed...