In 1924, Congress proposed the Child Labor Amendment in response to Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918) and Bailey v. Drexel Furniture (1922), two Supreme Court decisions ruling that Congress didn’t have the power to abolish or regulate child labor on the federal level. Thus, with President Coolidge’s support, Congress voted for an amendment to this effect.
The House vote was as follows:
Passed 297-69: R 168-13; D 127-56; FL 1-0; S 1-0, 4/26/24.
Passed 61-23: R 40-6; D 19-17; FL 2-0, 6/2/24.
The push for this amendment disappeared with the adoption of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which interestingly enough had a number of Republicans who voted for this amendment, such as conservatives Robert Luce (R-Mass.), John Taber (R-N.Y.), and Dan Reed (R-N.Y.) vote against, while some figures who voted against the Child Labor Amendment, most notably Sam Rayburn (D-Tex.), voted for the Fair Labor Standards Act. There is a distinctly Southern bent to dissent from this amendment, although there was some considerable support even there, including from figures who would distinctly move to the right in the Roosevelt years, such as Senator Carter Glass (D-Va.) and Representative John Rankin (D-Miss.).
Y – “Yea”
N – “Nay”
✓ – Paired or announced for.
X – Paired or announced against.
? – No known opinion.
Child Labor Amendment, House and Senate