Hammer v. Dagenhart

247 U.S. 251, 38 S. Ct. 529 (1918)



The production of  goods and the mining of coal are not considered commerce, and are therefore not under Congressional power to regulate. The regulation of production is a local power reserved to States and is Constitutionally protected by the Tenth Amendment.


Congress enacted the Act of Sept. 1, 1916, which prevented interstate commerce in the products of child labor. Appellee father filed a bill to enjoin the enforcement of the Act, and the district court granted the bill and declared the Act unconstitutional. On appeal, the court upheld the district court's judgment, holding that the Act attempted the federal government's regulation of a matter that was purely local.


Is the contested legislation beyond the scope of authority of Congress?




The court held that although there should be limitations upon the right to employ children in mines and factories in the interest of their own and the public's welfare, such regulation was reserved for the states. The grant of power to Congress over the subject of interstate commerce was to enable it to regulate such commerce, and not to give it authority to control the States in their exercise of the police power over local trade and manufacture.

Click here to view the full text case and earn your Daily Research Points.