• Last updated on November 11, 2022

Using a broad interpretation of the commerce clause, the Supreme Court upheld a federal law mandating minimum wages and maximum hours for employees producing goods for interstate commerce.

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938,Fair Labor Standards Act the last major piece of New Deal legislation, applied to employees engaged “in commerce” and “in the production of goods for commerce.” Fred Darby, owner of a Georgia company making goods to be shipped out of state, was indicted for paying his employees less than the minimum wage. In his appeal, Darby referred to the precedent of Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918),[case]Hammer v. Dagenhart[Hammer v. Dagenhart] which had held that the U.S. Congress, under the commerce clause and the Tenth Amendment,Tenth Amendment had no authority to regulate activities that were only indirectly connected to interstate commerce. By a 9-0 vote, the Court overturned Hammer and upheld the 1938 statute. Chief Justice Harlan Fiske StoneStone, Harlan Fiske;Darby Lumber Co., United States v.[Darby Lumber Co., United States v.] wrote that Congress possessed the comprehensive authority to regulate any intrastate activities that had either a direct or indirect effect on interstate commerce. Only the employees of companies engaging in purely local activities remained outside the protection of the federal minimum-wage law. Stone’s landmark opinion specifically repudiated the doctrine of dual federalism,Dual federalism so that the Tenth Amendment would no longer serve as a significant restraint on federal supervision of anything relating to interstate commerce.[case]Darby Lumber Co., United States v.[Darby Lumber Co., United States v.]Interstate commerceManufacturing, regulation of;Darby Lumber Co., United States v.[Darby Lumber Co., United States v.]Commerce, regulation of;Darby Lumber Co., United States v.[Darby Lumber Co., United States v.]Interstate commerce

Carter v. Carter Coal Co.

Commerce, regulation of

Federalism

Hammer v. Dagenhart

Labor

Lopez, United States v.

New Deal

Tenth Amendment

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