11th Circuit: Too-Low Minimum Wage In Birmingham is Racist
August 13, 2018, 02:00 PM
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Three Circuit Judges have struck down Alabama's statewide minimum wage law—which knocked out mostly-black Birmingham's three-dollars-higher city-wide minimum wage law—because it's racist.[PDF]

The dispassionate legal scholar might raise an eyebrow, thinking gosh, states certainly have the power to set minimum wages. And what they do trumps local minimum wage laws, firstly because states are sovereign and secondly because a patchwork of minimum wage laws across the state creates a messy business environment.

But you'd be wrong. According to the 11th Circuit, you'd be wrong because:

  • Birmingham's city council is black, as are 72 percent of its people
  • The state legislator who proposed a statewide wage was white
  • All the legislators who supported the bill were white
  • All the black legislators in Montgomery opposed the bill
  • Alabama ordered Birmingham to take down the plywood they put up around a Confederate monument


  • George Wallace proclaimed segregation now and forever.

Do those sound like legal arguments? Read the opinion to discover that they are.

I don't like it. The court is attacking the very whiteness of the legislators as support for why a bill is racist. Someone should note: that itself is racist.

I don't like that Alabama can't pass a simple minimum wage law without getting thwacked over George Wallace. By dragging him out, the NAACP could use the federal courts to knock out pretty much anything they don't like.

Criminal laws disproportionately impact blacks? Well, the legislators were white!

Debt collection not liked by blacks? Well, George Wallace!

And so on.

It's time for something new. Split Alabama into two sovereign states and let Black Alabama enjoy its $50 minimum wage.