An introduction to Constitutional Law 100 Supreme Court cases everyone should know

Randy E. Barnett & Josh Blackman

Oregon made it a crime to employ female workers for more than ten hours a day. The owner of the Lace House Laundry challenged the law as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Naturally, he relied on the recent precedent of Lochner, which found that limiting bakers to ten hours per day violated the Due Process Clause. Yet, only three years later, Muller unanimously upheld Oregon’s maximum- hour law for women.

Justice Brewer wrote the majority opinion in Muller. He explained that “the difference between the sexes [can] justify a different rule respecting a restriction of the hours of labor.”

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