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Hammer v. Dagenhart

United States Supreme Court
247 U.S. 251 (1918)


Facts

In 1916, in response to increasing concerns over child labor conditions in mills and factories, Congress passed the Keating-Owen Act which prohibited goods made by children under a certain age from being sold in interstate commerce. Dagenhart (plaintiff) brought suit on behalf of himself and his two sons, who were minor children employed in a cotton mill in North Carolina, against Hammer (defendant), a United States attorney, alleging that the Act was an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause Power. The District Court for the Western District of North Carolina held that Congress acted unconstitutionally in attempting to regulate a purely local matter. Both Hammer and the United States appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Day, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Holmes, J.)

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