Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Child labor amendment
The Child Labor Amendment was a proposed—and technically still-pending—amendment to the United States Constitution offered by the 68th Congress in June of 1924. If ever ratified by the state legislatures, it would repose in the Congress of the United States exclusive jurisdiction to legislate on the subject of child labor. The states would be stripped of authority to enact laws on that subject under the amendment's terms. After several state legislatures initially balked at the proposal in the 1920's, a number of them re-examined it during the 1930's and decided to ratify it. Those delayed actions resulted in much controversy and spawned the 1939 decision of the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case of Coleman v. Miller [307 U.S. 433] in which it was determined that the Child Labor Amendment remains pending business before the state legislatures because the 68th Congress never specified any deadline within which the state legislatures must act upon it. This court ruling formed the basis of the unusual, belated ratification of the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution which was proposed in 1789 and ratified more than two centuries later in 1992 by the legislatures of at least three-fourths of the 50 states.
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