From my satire to Tea Party ideas: Mike Lee and child labor
In the 1800s, teaparty valiantly fought for the rights of children to work as many hours as they wanted.
Now comes Tea Parties member and U.S. Senator Mike Lee of Utah who - unbeknownst to me - offered a Constitutional video lecture series about a year ago called "Federal and State Power Kept Separate" (video below, transcript from ):
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.
Note that Mike Lee isn't arguing for child labor: he calls it among other things "barbaric". What he is arguing for is a strict interpretation of the Constitution that might leave such things as child labor laws up to the individual states.
In other words, if we'd had teaparty types around a century ago they probably would have fought against federal attempts to abolish child labor. And, just as today's teapartiers have partially been deluded into helping a small number of wealthy persons and groups make money, manufacturers who used child labor would have used yesteryear's teapartiers to push their agenda. And, we might still have child labor in states like Alabama and Mississippi.
1/19/12 UPDATE: The owner of the video that was here (Youtube ID mrkZKgol0Wc) closed their account. I believe Mike Lee or a group he led was the owner of that account, and it's not in his other accounts (senatormikelee and MikeLeeUtah). I replaced it with a Young Turks segment that has Lee's comments.
I'd prefer to concentrate on discrediting ThinkProgress instead of referencing them, but the teapartiers make that difficult.