Newly minted Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said in a lecture posted to his YouTube channel that Congressional laws banning child labor are forbidden by the US Constitution.
Lee, a fierce advocate for the Tenth Amendment who replaced longtime Republican incumbent Bob Bennett in the Senate this month, argued that only states have the constitutional authority to create such laws.
“Congress decided it wanted to prohibit that practice, so it passed a law. No more child labor. The Supreme Court heard a challenge to that law, and the Supreme Court decided a case in 1918 called Hammer v. Dagenhardt,” Lee said. “In that case, the Supreme Court acknowledged something very interesting — that, as reprehensible as child labor is, and as much as it ought to be abandoned — that’s something that has to be done by state legislators, not by Members of Congress.”
Lee’s reasoning was that labor and manufacturing are “by their very nature, local activities” and not “interstate commercial transactions.” He added: “This may sound harsh, but it was designed to be that way. It was designed to be a little bit harsh.”
The key Congressional law that addresses child labor is the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which placed a series of restrictions against the employment of people under 18 in the public and private sectors.
The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the law in the 1941 United States v. Darby Lumber decision, overturning Hammer, on the basis of the constitutional authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. It has hardly run into controversies since.
Lee said he was not opposed to laws regulating child labor, but merely insisted they be controlled by state governments, not Congress. The issue of states rights is particularly popular in Utah, widely known as America’s most conservative state.
The following video was uploaded to YouTube by Sen. Mike Lee.
(h/t Think Progress)
Trump’s attack on Ilhan Omar is no surprise — he’s trafficked in racism his whole life: biographer
In a column for Bloomberg, Tim O'Brien -- the author of "TrumpWorld" -- said the racist attack that Donald Trump made on four Democratic lawmakers who also all happen to be women of color, should not surprise anyone with a passing familiarity of the president.
According to O'Brien, racism has been a centerpiece of Trump's life going back to when he was just starting out in his family's real estate business.
New Hampshire GOP lawmaker: Owning slaves doesn’t make you a racist
A New Hampshire state lawmaker came under fire this week after he argued that owning black people as slaves does not make someone racist.
USA Today reports that Republican state Rep. Werner Horn recently responded to a Facebook post from a former state House member named Dan Hynes, who argued that President Donald Trump couldn't possibly be the most racist president ever because he never owned slaves.
Iran calls Trump ‘delusional’ and denies the US Navy destroyed its drone
Tehran on Friday denied the United States had downed one of its drones, saying all Iranian aircraft were accounted for and jesting Washington may have accidentally hit their own machine.
The latest incident in the strategic Strait of Hormuz comes amid soaring tensions between the two foes, with Washington already reeling from Iran shooting down one of its drones last month.
US President Donald Trump said an American naval vessel downed an Iranian drone on Thursday that threatened the ship as it was entering the Strait -- a claim vehemently denied by Tehran.
Iran's armed forces dismissed Trump's assertion as "baseless and delusional" while admitting one of their drones was flying near the US ship.