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Adkins v. Children’s Hospital

United States Supreme Court
261 U.S. 525 (1923)



In 1918, Congress passed a law providing for the fixing of minimum wages for women and children in the District of Columbia. Children’s Hospital (plaintiff) employed several adult women for wages mutually agreed upon by and satisfactory to all parties. However, the wages were less than required by federal law. Children’s Hospital brought suit in Federal District Court for the District of Columbia against Adkins (defendant), the federal official responsible for administering the minimum wage program, seeking to enjoin the program on the grounds that the minimum wage requirements interfered with the hospital’s Fifth Amendment Due Process right to contract freely. The district court denied the injunction, but the court of appeals reversed. Adkins appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Sutherland, J.)

Dissent (Taft, C.J.)

Dissent (Holmes, J.)

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