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Is Minimum Wages Unconstitutional?

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50.2 
  • Words: 2070
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Every nation in this world has specific ideas and beliefs associated with it.   The French are associated with wine and fine food, while Italy is known for their geographic beauty.   Up until 70 or so years ago the words “Lassie Faire” went hand and hand with the United States.   Lassie Faire, or free market, was one of the major ideals that propitiated the foundation of this nation.   Yet in the mid 1930’s the Federal Government pushed into law the Fair Labor Standards Act there by betraying the American peoples trust and turning it’s back upon our illustrious past.

Up until 1938 the United States Supreme Court had routinely declared any type of minimum wage law unconstitutional.   First in 1923, where minimum wage laws for women and minors had been enacted by 15 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.   Then again in 1933 the High Court declared the National Industrial Recovery Act, which mandated federal minimum wages, unconstitutional.   The basic problem they cited in both these rulings falls under the “reserve clause” of the Constitution (the 10th Amendment), which declares that powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved for the States or the people.   Minimum wages was not the only federal program that felt the axe of the Supreme Court during this time.   Almost every New Deal Legislative was declared unconstitutional from the Railroad Retirement Act, to the National Recovery Act. Now one must pose this question; Why did the Supreme Court go against all of it’s previous rulings, some ruling which were only done six years before, and declare minimum wages constitutional?   The reason for why the Supreme Court made this complete 180-degree turn in their stance can best be summed up with one word, Roosevelt.

Federal judges are appointed for life, and the Supreme Court of the 1930’s was the most elderly in the history of the republic with an average age of over 71.(Leuchtenburg,133) The court was split down the...


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