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Remember Utah's new Senator, Mike Lee, and this?

Congress decided it wanted to prohibit [child labor], so it passed a law—no more child labor. The Supreme Court heard a challenge to that and the Supreme Court decided a case in 1918 called Hammer v. Dagenhardt. 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. [...]

This may sound harsh, but it was designed to be that way. It was designed to be a little bit harsh. Not because we like harshness for the sake of harshness, but because we like a clean division of power, so that everybody understands whose job it is to regulate what.

Now, we got rid of child labor, notwithstanding this case. So the entire world did not implode as a result of that ruling.

Guess who's now on the Judiciary Committee? Think Progress's Ian Millhiser comments:

Placing Mike Lee in charge of overseeing the Constitution is a bit like putting Dick Cheney in charge of hunting and gun safety, yet the Senate GOP was so eager to put this radical tenther on the Judiciary Committee that it waived a rule prohibiting both of a state’s senators from serving on Judiciary in order to ensure Lee’s membership. Bizarrely, this move exposes a very real divide between Senate Republicans and the President. While President Obama’s State of the Union Address specifically highlighted “child labor laws” as an example of the kind of “commonsense safeguards” that all Americans can embrace, the Senate GOP apparently sees no problem with Lee’s view that federal child labor laws cannot constitutionally exist.

Hell, the Senate GOP probably went to such lengths to get him on this committee specifically because of President Obama's SOTU remarks.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 06:40 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Does he have kids ? (4+ / 0-)

    "brutes have risen to power, but they lie!" Charlie Chaplin

    by indycam on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 06:42:31 PM PST

  •  Think of the Corporations First (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi

    Now, now. Gutting child labor laws could bring millions of jobs back to the US. What type of expenses do kids have? Absolutely none. I'm sure they jump at the chance to make 50 cents an hour.

  •  Fine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rontun

    put his kids to work getting him unelected

  •  He's from the same state of that guy who (5+ / 0-)

    wants to meddle in Tucson politics by trying to recall their Democratic Pima County Sheriff because he doesn't want to be hard on brown people AND had the nerve to state that words have consequences and urging a toning down of the vitriol after the Giffords attempted assassination.

    http://www.kgun9.com/...

    Where are all the jobs, Mr. Boehner? As a very proud gay American male, I am proud of the DADT repeal and am hopeful that ENDA will be law one day.

    by SimonBarSinister on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 06:45:13 PM PST

  •  Do child laborors get retirement benefits? (4+ / 0-)

    Boy, with an employer match on your 401k, you could build up quite a nest egg if you entered the workforce at the age of 8.

    May(sn)be he's o(a)n to somet(rk)hing:?

    "This in not what I thought I'd be when I grew up."

    by itzik shpitzik on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 06:47:10 PM PST

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rontun

    Um.....Joan......

    I'm sure your outrage over the 'rule waiver' also extends to the 2 Democratic Senators from Minnesota - who also both serve on the Judiciary Committee - in violation of said 'rule"?

    Just askin. :D

    The Democratic Party. Never has so much been squandered so quickly for so little.

    by GayIthacan on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 06:49:25 PM PST

    •  It's a Republican rule that was waived. Democrats (0+ / 0-)

      only follow the limitation by tradition:

      Republican members from the same state are prohibited from serving on the same committee by Republican Conference rule.  Democrats adhere to the same prohibition, but by tradition.

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        Oh really?

        Under Democratic caucus rules, a senator is only permitted to sit on one Super-A committee so that the spoils can be spread around. Senate rules also limit the overall size of committees, but both parties routinely break both rules, offering themselves waivers. The Appropriations Committee, for instance, is limited to 28 members by Senate Rule 25, but 30 members -- nearly a third of the entire chamber -- sit on the panel.

        DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS RULES

        I guess it just matters which rules - and which setting - that waivers are granted. :D :D

        The Democratic Party. Never has so much been squandered so quickly for so little.

        by GayIthacan on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:15:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Judiciary Committee isn't Super-A, (0+ / 0-)

          Joan's statement had nothing to do with the size of committees, and I quoted the actual Senate rules about the fact that Democratic Senators do not have a rule about more than two Senators serving from a state.

          But, this isn't even the first time today that I bow to HuffPost's opinion on facts. ;-p

          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

            The subject was rule breaking - not the venue in which those rules are broken. :D

            On this particular subject, I;m afraid the Dems are just as rule-blind when politically expedient as the GOP.

            The Democratic Party. Never has so much been squandered so quickly for so little.

            by GayIthacan on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:52:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  'Bout damned time we start charging the little (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, ontheleftcoast

    buggers tuition for school!

    One should never underestimate the potential for lunacy from the Republican Party.  I swear, every nut case in the country has been recruited by the G.O.P., which wears its insanity as a badge of honor.

    "A free society that will not help the many who are poor, cannot save the few who are rich." JFK, January, 1961

    by rontun on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 06:49:53 PM PST

  •  There's got to be.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101

    ...some compromise we can find.

    snark

    We're an economy, not a society.

    by dehrha02 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 06:53:24 PM PST

    •  Hey, these are the people we're (0+ / 0-)

      supposed to try to work with.

      Hell, the Senate GOP probably went to such lengths to get him on this committee specifically because of President Obama's SOTU remarks.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 06:58:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My grandfather entered the work force... (12+ / 0-)

    ...at age 11, his brother at age 9. They were slate boys in the Appalachian mountains of northern Georgia. They straddled a box down which coal and slate tumbled onto a conveyor. Their job was to grab pieces of slate and separate it from the coal. Usually, there was a line of several young boys doing this. I don't know what they were paid for this exceedingly dangerous work, but it wasn't much. By the time each of them turned 15, he was working underground.

    While the task of slate boys has given way to automation, that world is the one the likes of Mike Lee want to return us to.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:00:41 PM PST

    •  not an uncommon story (6+ / 0-)

      in that corner of the world.  

      Three of my four grandparents entered the industrial work force before the age of 12 (my grandmother at age 10).  On my mother's side of the family it was entry into the textile mills, and on my father's at the lumber mill.

      None of them received their own paypackets when they worked.  That money was turned over automatically to their fathers, or in the case of my paternal grandfather, his grandfather, because his father was dead.  

      In my grandmother's case, when she married at 16, the very next payday her paypacket was turned over to her husband rather than her father.  This pattern continued for the next 19 years. My grandmother was widowed at the age of 35 in 1945, and it wasn't until that day (after FDR had already died) that she actually took home her own paypacket for the first time.  At that time, she had been working in the mills for 25 years.  

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:28:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you're under 12..... (0+ / 0-)

    .... you can't work longer than a 4 hour shift in a coal mine.

    We're an economy, not a society.

    by dehrha02 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:01:40 PM PST

  •  When my kids misbehave, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, sagansong, jck

    I sit 'em down and tell them Mike Lee is coming to put them to work. They shape up right quick, you betcha! Think I'll go put his picture up in their bedrooms right now.

    As god is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!

    by sizzzzlerz on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:12:21 PM PST

  •  "Having authorities feed your fingers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck

    to bears and tigers, if you are not being punished for a crime, is not expressly forbidden in the Constitution, so therefore..."
    --Anton Scalia

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:13:08 PM PST

  •  Like having Mr. Bumble in the Senate. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Other people (0+ / 0-)

    That's the only explanation I can think of. Other people did all his work for him in college.

  •  Hammer was explicitly overruled (6+ / 0-)

    in United States v Darby, 312 US 100 (1941):

    1. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 provides for fixing minimum wages and maximum hours for employees engaged in the production of goods for interstate commerce, with increased compensation for overtime.... Held within the commerce power and consistent with the Fifth and Tenth Amendments.

    ...

    1. In prohibiting interstate shipment of goods produced under the forbidden substandard labor conditions, the Act is within the authority of Congress, if no Constitutional provision forbids. P. 312 U. S. 115.
    1. Hammer v. Dagenhart, 247 U. S. 251, overruled; Carter v. Carter Coal Co., 298 U. S. 238, declared to have been limited. Pp. 312 U. S. 115, 312 U. S. 123. [Emphasis added]

    by a unanimous Supreme Court.

    Of course, it's too much to expect a Tea Partier to actually know something about constitution law, even if he wants a seat on Judiciary.

    He is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature. G.B. Shaw

    by DanK Is Back on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:14:58 PM PST

  •  I'd say... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmcgrew, randallt

    Hell, the Senate GOP probably went to such lengths to get him on this committee specifically because of President Obama's SOTU remarks.

    ...no probably about it, this is precisely why they did it.

    Remember that the GOP goal isn't really to "enact" their own agenda, it is primarily about ensuring that the Democrats cannot enact a democratic agenda.  

    Partisanship in the hands of the GOP isn't about politics, it is about anti-politics, that is about making politics impossible.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:15:58 PM PST

  •  What A Scary Person (0+ / 0-)

    All of the GOP are scary.  They want to take the country back to where children worked in coal mines.  Why anybody has a favorable opinion of the GOP is beyond me.

  •  Lee is actually explaining one of (0+ / 0-)

    the basic tenets of republicanism...if the wrong people do the right thing, it's the wrong thing to do. And if the right people do the wrong thing, it's all cool...

  •  Terrible - BUT U.S. Supreme Court today agrees! (0+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately the U.S. Supreme Court today issued an opinion that supports Mike Lee's view. As a result:

    WE NEED A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT EXPANDS THE COMMERCE CLAUSE TO INCLUDE CERTAIN "STATE ISSUES" LIKE CHILD LABOR.

    WE NEED THIS AMENDMENT TO BROADEN SEVERAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO INCLUDE STATE'S RIGHTS THAT HAVE CIVIL RIGHTS IMPLICATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS IMPLICATIONS.

    THIS INCLUDES A NEED FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT SAYS THAT FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE IN TERMS OF INTERPRETATION OF EVIDENCE IS A FEDERAL RIGHT!

    The following cases decided today can be used to broadly emphasize how the U.S. Supreme Court can harshly deny justice in cases such as child labor or any case where the Constitution does not explicitly define a right as a federal right.

    Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued an per curium [unanimous decision not identifying judge that wrote it] ruling in Swarthout v. Cooke and Cate v Clay, both cases in California which were habeas petitions claiming that California denied due process by denying parole to two prisoners because a parole board improperly interpreted the facts presented in evidence. The prisoners had been granted habeas relief by the federal circuit (appellate courts) because the federal circuit court said the evidence did not prove they were still dangerous.

    The U.S. Supreme Court TODAY concluded that as long as a hearing was held it is none of the federal government's business what the evidence reveals because that is ONLY a state issue.

    So even if the evidence reveals the person is not dangerous and should be released, if the parole board misinterprets this evidence or ignores it in denying parole that is not federal business and the federal courts cannot reverse the parole board decision.

    The U.S. Supreme Court therefore immortalized the concept that fairness and justice is not the business of the federal courts. The federal courts, in regards to state business only has jurisdiction to make sure the procedure stated in the state laws are followed.

    They said that unless the State law specifically states how evidence is to be interpreted, the federal court does not have jurisdiction to decide this issue even if the result is unfair or unjust because of misinterpretation, misuse or blatant disregard of evidence presented.

    The U.S. Supreme Court reversed and denied the habeas petition by stating that the federal constitution under the due process clause, ONLY if the state law has a procedure that is stated and must be followed gives the prisoners a federal due process "liberty interest" in having the procedures stated in the law followed - i.e. per California law they must have a hearing, be allowed to present evidence, and be told why parole is denied. This is "procedural due process". This was done in both cases.

    However, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that whether or not the evidence supports California's law that states there must be "some evidence" that the "prisoner is too dangerous to deny release" is "NO PART OF THE NINTH CIRCUIT COURT'S [Federal Appellate Court's] BUSINESS".

    This means the U.S. Supreme Court says as long as a STATE LAW requires a hearing to be held due process is denied if the hearing is not held, BUT DUE PROCESS IS NOT DENIED AND IT IS NONE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS IF THE STATE COURT OR PAROLE BOARD MISINTERPRETS, MISUSES, OR BLATANTLY IGNORES THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY THE DEFENDANT. THEY SAID THIS IS ONLY THE STATE'S BUSINESS.

    Soooo!  According to the U.S. Supreme Court, EVEN TODAY, Mike Lee is correct about State's rights and lack of federal authority on issues such as child labor!

    THIS MAKES ME PUKE!

    THEREFORE, AMERICAN JUSTICE IS A MYTH - THE PRESENT U.S. SUPREME COURT AGREES THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NO AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE IF RIGHTS LEFT TO THE STATE ARE APPLIED FAIRLY OR NOT AND CHILD LABOR LAWS, LIKE THE PROPER INTERPRETATION OF EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL HABEAS CORPUS CASES IF A STATE DOES NOT IN ITS LAWS SPELL OUT WHAT IS THE PROPER INTERPRETATION OF EVIDENCE, CAN BE MISUSED, MISINTERPRETED, AND UNFAIRLY IGNORED WITH IMPUNITY. THERE ARE NO FEDERAL PROTECTIONS FOR MISUSE OF PURELY STATE LAWS AS LONG AS STATE PROCEDURES ARE FOLLOWED.

    Linda Lorincz Shelton, Ph.D., M.D.

    by Dr Linda Shelton on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:49:03 PM PST

    •  Glad to hear from DanK is Back Hammer overruled! (0+ / 0-)

      DanK is Back - Thanks for the comments about Hammer being over-ruled regarding child labor laws.

      This does not negate the fact that we still have a lot of problems with the federal courts refusing to interfere with state laws that are mis-interpretated, mis-applied, or simply ignored as long as "procedural due process" is followed.

      We still are lacking justice and fairness in our judicial system at the state level and in many cases have no recourse in the federal courts, especially if the state courts are corrupt all the way up to the State Supreme Court, as they are in Illinois.

      Linda Lorincz Shelton, Ph.D., M.D.

      by Dr Linda Shelton on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:59:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He doesn't support child labor. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hayesb, Dr Linda Shelton

    Come on, people, seriously?  You should be able to find enough good reasons to criticize and disagree with the guy without needing to make up disingenuous crap like that.

  •  It's a good thing this idiot will be there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Linda Shelton

    Putting him on the committee means he will get a starring role the next time we have a Supreme Court battle. And, he can be counted on to say stupid things repeatedly.

    Shining a light on all these ridiculous positions is the best disinfectant.

    Gerardo - www.northcoastblog.com

    by orlandoreport on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:03:22 PM PST

  •  headline is misleading/false (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Linda Shelton

    He didn't say it was unconstitutional ... He said he agreed with the decision of the Supreme Court to kick it back to the states. Which then passed laws against child labor - which he agrees with.

    Just being fair.

    the most comprehensive college hockey resource collegehockeynews.com

    by AdamW on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:36:06 PM PST

    •  You forget, or maybe you didn't know, (0+ / 0-)

      that the Supreme Court subsequently decided that Congress could pass laws against child labor.  Which then passed laws against child labor.  Which he... apparently doesn't agree with.  So it's fair to say that Lee is misleading/false.

  •  Uh...am I missing something (0+ / 0-)

    Or is here merely making a point on federal vs. state jurisdiction... and choosing an example that makes his point quite well.

    Joan,this is not exactly intellectually honest to infer that he's against child labor laws.

    •  What he doesn't say (0+ / 0-)

      He doesn't say that a subsequent Supreme Court decision, U.S. v. Darby Lumber Co., upheld the provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 that banned child labor.  When he says in his video, "we got rid of child labor", he doesn't say that came about due to federal law and federal jurisprudence.

      Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

      by Linnaeus on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:32:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  At some point, we must ask these degenerates (0+ / 0-)

    publicly to state just exactly what kind of world they have in mind to create, and whether and how they intend to include the rest of us.

    Let's put the question to them on broadcast media so that everyone can hear what they are espousing.

  •  Well, actually children still are the property (0+ / 0-)

    of their parents and the parents have private property rights.  The U.S. has been bigger on ownership than on human rights for a long time.  That's probably why the Convention on the Rights of the Child hasn't been ratified.

    When you come right down to it, the ownership of slaves wasn't very different from the ownership of children.  Slaves were considered a little more important, 3/5 of a person, while children aren't counted as persons at all.  Children are still emancipated when they reach the age of 18.

    The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

    by hannah on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 04:35:43 AM PST

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