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West Coast Hotel v. Parrish - Significance, A Test Case, A Close Vote, James Clark Mcreynolds, Further Readings

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West Coast Hotel Company


Elsie Parrish

Appellant's Claim

That Parrish was not due back pay to bring her up to the level she would have received under Washington's 1913 minimum wage law.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

John W. Roberts, E. L. Skeel

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

C. B. Conner, Sam M. Driver

Justices for the Court

Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Charles Evans Hughes (writing for the Court), Owen Josephus Roberts, Harlan Fiske Stone

Justices Dissenting

Pierce Butler, James Clark McReynolds, George Sutherland, Willis Van Devanter


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

29 March 1937


The public interest in setting a minimum wage for women and children is more important than freedom of contract.

Related Cases

  • Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905).
  • Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1918).
  • Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 261 U.S. 525 (1923).
  • Morehead v. New York ex rel. Tipaldo, 298 U.S. 587 (1936).
  • United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100 (1941).


Cushman, Clare, ed. The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies, 1789-1993. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1993.

Friedman, Leon, and Fred L. Israel, eds. The Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court 1789-1969: Their Lives and Major Opinions. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1969.

Whitney v. California - Significance, Supreme Court Upholds California Criminal Syndicalism Law, The California Criminal Syndicalism Act, Further Readings [next] [back] Weeks v. United States - Significance, Great Principles Must Not Be Sacrificed, A Personal Right Of The Defendant?, Impact

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almost 6 years ago

Enjoy in Tulsa, OK and make your trip memorable by booking a reputed hotel in Oklahoma. Book online at http://www.hamptontulsahotel.com/

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almost 10 years ago

I live in Wenatchee, WA and have been speaking about Elsie Parrish for over 20 years to any group that will listen. Before the computer age in this area, I had a hard time finding information. The city has finally recognized the significance of the case and has placed a plaque outside of the Cascadian Hotel with a dedication to Elsie Parrish

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over 2 years ago

West Coast Hotel v. Parrish - Significance, A Test Case, A Close Vote, James Clark Mcreynolds, Further Readings

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almost 4 years ago

C.B. Conner was the only lawyer for this case. Oral argument was presented by Mr. W. A. Toner, Asst. Atty. General for State of WA, because he was already admitted to the Court and had another case in D.C. It was late in 1936 and D.C. was a long way from Wenatchee, WA, so having Toner present the brief to the Court was very helpful. Also, "since only those who were formally introduced and admitted to the Court could appear upon the records", Conner "asked Sam Driver, who had been admitted to the Supreme Court, while he was in Washington with Mr. Hill, to lend the use of his name, which he did." Conner then wrote it on his brief that was given to Toner to present and that is why Sam Driver's name in in the records. "Sam gets the credit while he knew nothing of the case and took no part in it." The quotes are from memoirs written by C.B. Conner, my grandfather. The "answering brief" presented to the Supreme Court consisted of four pages.

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over 4 years ago

Parrish was a women who worked hard and didn't get paid what she deserved. Even when in Washington there was a minimum wage law, Parrish took her complaint to the court to get her pay. Finally the Supreme Court decide that the minimum wage law between private buisnesses doesn't/wont effect the 14th amendment