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Hammer v. Dagenhart, 247 US 251 (1918) p.173


Commerce clause - regulation of child labor


A law barred transportation in interstate commerce of goods produced in factories employing children. Bill by Roland H. Dagenhart and Reuben Dagenhart and John Dagenhart, minors, by Roland H. Dagenhart, their next friend, against W. C. Hammer, United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina to enjoin the enforcement of Act Sept. 1, 1916, intended to prevent interstate commerce in the products of child labor. From a decree for enjoining enforcement of the act, defendant appeals.



Whether the law was constitutional under the commerce clause.


The Child Labor Law cannot be sustained on the theory that Congress has power to control interstate commerce in the shipment of childmade goods because of the effect of such goods in states where the evil of child labor has been recognized by local legislation and the right to employ child labor has been more rigorously restrained than in the state of production.



Act Sept. 1, 1916, 39 Stat. 675, prohibiting transportation in interstate commerce of the products of mines or factories in which within 30 days prior to removal children under 14 were employed, or children between 14 and 16 were employed more than 8 hours per day and 6 days a week, is invalid, and cannot be sustained as a regulation of interstate commerce.


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