Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: Opinion in Lochner v. New York(1905)
One of the U.S. Supreme Court’s most notorious opinions, Lochner v. New York, concerned a New York State law limiting bakers to a sixty-hour workweek. In their decision, the Court rejected the argument that the law was necessary to protect the health of bakers and viewed it strictly as a labor law that regulated the terms of employment. Thus, they agreed with the petitioner, Joseph Lochner, that the legislation violated his due process rights, specifically the right to contract, as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. In his dissenting Opinion in Lochner v. New York, Oliver Wendell Holmes proved prophetic with a brief polemic against the misuse of the doctrine of substantive due process to prioritize property rights over individual rights.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (Library of Congress)View Full Size