Court Strikes Down Child Labor Act

1918

In Hammer v. Dagenhart, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916, which set age limitations for workers producing goods for interstate commerce. Textile mill worker Rueben Dagenhart sues on behalf of his 14-year-old son for the right to work in the mill, whose products are sold across state lines. The Court maintains that the law is an unconstitutional over-extension of the commerce clause as it regulates the circumstances of the production of goods, rather than commerce.