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Encyclopedia > West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish
West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish

Supreme Court of the United States Official seal of the Supreme Court of the United States File links The following pages link to this file: Marbury v. ...

Argued December 16-17, 1936

Decided March 29, 1937

Full case name: West Coast Hotel Company v. Ernest Parrish, et al.
Citations: 300 U.S. 379; 57 S. Ct. 578; 81 L. Ed. 703; 1937 U.S. LEXIS 1119; 1 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P17,021; 8 Ohio Op. 89; 108 A.L.R. 1330; 1 L.R.R.M. 754; 7 L.R.R.M. 754
Prior history: Judgment for defendant, Superior Court, Chelan County, 11-9-35; reversed, 55 P.2d 1083 (Wash. 1936)
Subsequent history: none
Washington's minimum wage law for women was a valid regulation of the right to contract freely because of the state's special interest in protecting their health and ability to support themselves. Supreme Court of Washington affirmed.
Court membership
Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes
Associate Justices Willis Van Devanter, James McReynolds, Louis Brandeis, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, Harlan Fiske Stone, Owen Roberts, Benjamin Cardozo
Case opinions
Majority by: Hughes
Joined by: Brandeis, Stone, Roberts, Cardozo
Dissent by: Sutherland
Joined by: Van Devanter, McReynolds, Butler
Laws applied
U.S. Const. Amend. XIV; Minimum Wages for Women Act, 1913 Wash. Laws 174

West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937) was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that upheld the constitutionality of minimum wage legislation enacted by the State of Washington, overturning an earlier decision in Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 261 U.S. 525 (1923). Court citation is a standard system used in common law countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia to uniquely identify the location of past court cases in special series of books called reporters. ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Seal of the Supreme Court Scotus redirects here. ... The minimum wage is the minimum rate a worker can legally be paid (usually per hour) as opposed to wages that are determined by the forces of supply and demand in a free market. ... State nickname: The Evergreen State Official languages None Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Governor Christine Gregoire (D) Senators Patty Murray (D) Maria Cantwell (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 18th 184,824 km² 6. ... Holding Minimum wage law for women violated the due process right to contract freely. ... 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ...

The Court, in an opinion by Chief Justice Hughes, ruled that the Constitution permitted the restriction of liberty of contract by state law where such restriction protected the community, health and safety or vulnerable groups, as in the case of Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908), where the Court had found in favour of the regulation of women's working hours. The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the judicial branch of the government of the United States, and presides over the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Portrait of Charles Evans Hughes Charles Evans Hughes (April 11, 1862 – August 27, 1948) was a Governor of New York, a United States Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the United States. ... Holding Oregons limit on the working hours of women was constitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, because it was justified by the strong state interest in protecting womens health. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ...

Muller, however, was one of the few exceptions of decades of Court invalidation of economic regulation, exemplified in Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905). West Coast Hotel represents the end of that trend, and came about through a sudden and seemingly inexplicable shift in the voting habits of Justice Roberts. Coming as it did right when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was pushing his "court packing" scheme to weaken the votes of the older anti-New Deal justices, Roberts' move was notoriously referred to as "the switch in time that saved nine." Holding New Yorks regulation of the working hours of bakers was not a justifiable restriction of the right to contract freely under the 14th Amendments guarantee of liberty. ... 1905 (MCMV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Owen Josephus Roberts (May 2, 1875 – May 17, 1955) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court for fifteen years. ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945), is best known for his leading the U.S. through the Great Depression via his New Deal, his building a powerful political coalition, the New Deal Coalition, that dominated American politics for decades... The New Deal is the name given to the series of legislative initiatives passed by Franklin Roosevelt with the goal of stabilizing and stimulating the United States economy in the Great Depression. ...

Justice Sutherland's dissent contained a thinly veiled admonition to Roberts for switching sides, as well as an insistence that the Constitution does not change by events alone (namely, the Great Depression). The dissent also adhered to the previously dominant perspective that the majority repudiated here: that freedom of contract was the rule with few exceptions, and that the shift of the burden for the poor onto employers was an arbitrary and naked exercise of power. However, the majority's view on economic regulation remains the law of the land today. George Sutherland (March 25, 1862 – July 18, 1942) was an English-born U.S. jurist and political figure. ... The Great Depression was a massive global economic recession (or depression) that ran from 1929 to approximately 1939. ...

See also

This is a chronological list of notable cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. ...

External links

  • Full text of the decision courtesy of Findlaw.com

  Results from FactBites:
The Footnote-- Part II (4467 words)
West Coast Hotel could have been seen as the clarion call for a new doctrine of substantive economic justice, where economic rights were based not upon parameters derived from the common law but from evolving notions of economic fairness in a nascent post-industrial America.
Hence, West Coast Hotel might have led to a rejection of the common law or the status quo as the benchmark for determining whether economic, political, or civil rights had been violated.
Parrish, an interpretation based upon a pluralist conception of politics in which the Court had only a limited role, just as we have already seen that the substitution of "Third" for "Second" was equally necessary to this conception.
West Coast Hotel Co (3176 words)
It shall be unlawful to employ women or minors in any industry or occupation within the State of Washington under conditions of labor detrimental to their health or morals; and it shall be unlawful to employ women workers in any industry within the State of Washington at wages which are not adequate for their maintenance.
The appellee Elsie Parrish was employed as a chambermaid and (with her husband) brought this suit to recover the difference between the wages paid her and the minimum wage fixed pursuant to the state law.
In dealing with the relation of employer and employed, the Legislature has necessarily a wide field of discretion in order that there may be suitable protection of health and safety, and that peace and good order may be promoted through regulations designed to insure wholesome conditions of work and freedom from oppression.
  More results at FactBites »



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