In Lewis v. Governor of Alabama, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed a city-versus-state conflict over minimum wage in Alabama. This debate over minimum wage is a topical one, both in the state and across the country, and proponents on both sides of the issue followed the case closely. However, rather than entering the minimum wage debate and addressing the issue on its merits, the court dismissed the case for a lack of standing and left the door open for continued discussion.
Photo Credit: http://time.com/4870916/congress-federal-minimum-wage/
In 2015, the Birmingham City Council passed a city ordinance increasing minimum wage throughout the city to $8.50 beginning in July 2016 and raising to $10.10 in 2017. This ordinance came in response to the City Council’s repeated attempts and eventual resolution to get the Alabama state legislature to increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour across the state of Alabama. The legislature refused the city’s request, leading the Birmingham City Council to increase the minimum wage throughout the city on their own with the purpose of “tak[ing] legislative steps to help lift working families out of poverty, decrease income inequality, and boost [Birmingham’s] economy.” Birmingham, the largest city in the State of Alabama, has thirty percent (30%) of its residents living below the poverty line while also being home to the largest African American population (72%) in Alabama.