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The Making of LawThe Supreme Court and Labor Legislation in Mexico, 1875-1931$
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William Suarez-Potts

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804775519

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804775519.001.0001

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Free Labor and the Federal Judiciary, 1875–1910

Free Labor and the Federal Judiciary, 1875–1910

(p.41) Chapter 2 Free Labor and the Federal Judiciary, 1875–1910
The Making of Law
Stanford University Press

A look at the cases handled by Mexico's Supreme Court involving labor issues between 1874 and 1910 suggests that the high court always sided with the laborer against the local authority and hacendado until about 1899. After 1899, however, the Court did not issue many rulings that favored the laborer-petitioner, but continued to grant amparos enjoining obvious acts of forced labor. This chapter examines Supreme Court cases decided before and after 1899 and considers types of labor disputes that the Court failed to address. It suggests that there was a shift in the Court's decision-making toward the end of the nineteenth century. The federal judiciary under Porfirio Díaz's regime had a negligible impact on labor relations. In disputes related to issues other than blatant coercion, the federal judiciary's interpretations of workers' rights under the constitution provided little direct support to workers or their organizations. Nevertheless, judicial decisions upholding the principle of free labor were significant.

Keywords:   Mexico, Supreme Court, amparos, forced labor, free labor, labor relations, labor disputes, judiciary, Porfirio Díaz, workers' rights

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