MOREHEAD v. NEW YORK

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
838
Petitioner 
Morehead
Respondent 
New York
Term:
Facts of the Case 

A New York minimum wage law empowered the state labor commission to fix wages in relation to the class of service rendered. This fixing of wages in relation to value was an attempt to satisfy the Supreme Court's narrow view of minimum wage legislation.

Question 

Does the law violate the liberty protected by due process of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Conclusion 

Yes, the law is unconstitutional. The right of employers and employees to make contracts for wages in return for work "is part of the liberty protected by the due process clause." The state could not interfere with such contracts. The decision was so at odds with current thinking that national conventions of both political parties explicitly called for its repudiation. Within a year, the Court took a dramatic reversal of course.

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MOREHEAD v. NEW YORK. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 06 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1935/1935_838/>.
MOREHEAD v. NEW YORK, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1935/1935_838/ (last visited April 6, 2014).
"MOREHEAD v. NEW YORK," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 6, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1935/1935_838/.