According to the supreme court case Coleman V. Miller, if congress does not set an end date by which an amendment to the constitution must be ratified, then it remains a indefinitely pending amendment unless Congress says it cannot be ratified. The indefinite nature of pending amendments was one of the reasons the 27th amendment was able to be ratified over 200 years after the 1st congress submitted it to the states. Currently there are at least 4 pending amendments that congress have submitted to the states without a deadline. One of these is the Child Labor Amendment which reads:

Section 1. The Congress shall have the power to limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons under eighteen years of age.

Section 2. The power of the several States is unimpaired by this article except that the operation of State laws shall be suspended to the extent necessary to give effect to legislation enacted by the Congress.

So far only 28 states have ratified the amendment. Given 50 states, 10 more must ratify it for the amendment to be ratified, assuming Congress does not state it was invalidly ratified. Right now, the most recent action conducted by any state was a floor debate in the Nebraska Legislature on April 18th, 2023 (see page 122 of the link). With the exception of this pending piece of Nebraska legislation, I wanted to know:

Are there any ongoing efforts (besides Nebraska) pertaining to the ratification of the Child Labor Amendment?

  • 1
    Wikipedia would seem to have an answer en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. Introduced in NY, Rhode I and Hawaii (in the last 10 years) but the bills made no progress.
    – James K
    Nov 5, 2023 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


I would be surprised if there were any active efforts, as an expansive interpretation of the interstate commerce clause after the Child Labor Amendment (which was proposed in response to the restrictive reading of the power of Congress in the Lochner era) clearly affords Congress that power.

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