University of Miami Business Law Review

Document Type



Several prominent studies have recently highlighted how the federal government tacitly subsidizes insufficient wages paid in certain industries–notably, major corporations within the fastfood sector. Historically, the government addressed insufficient wages by implementing a minimum standard-of-living wage. Since the New Deal inception of this remedy, the Judiciary has regularly upheld the minimum wage in the face of challenges to its constitutionality. Given the recent passage of a substantial increase in the minimum wage and the toxic political cloud hovering over the United States Congress, President Obama likely will have a difficult time in passing another increase, as he has promised since his first campaign. Even if passed, the constitutionality of such a hike will likely face a more rigorous test by a conservative Supreme Court that features five Justices appointed by Republican Presidents. This Comment seeks to understand the kind of test that the Court might use, and to analyze the constitutionality of a wage increase through the lens of potential tests.