The Lochner Court, Myth and Reality: Substantive Due Process from the 1890s to the 1930s

The Lochner Court, Myth and Reality: Substantive Due Process from the 1890s to the 1930s

The Lochner Court, Myth and Reality: Substantive Due Process from the 1890s to the 1930s

The Lochner Court, Myth and Reality: Substantive Due Process from the 1890s to the 1930s

Synopsis

Conventional wisdom holds that the Lochner Court illegitimately used the Constitution's due process clauses to strike down Progressive legislation designed to protect the poor and powerless against big business. This book systematically examines all of the U.S. Supreme Court's substantive due process cases from 1897 through 1937 and finds that they do not support long-held beliefs about the Lochner Court. The Court was more Progressive than commonly imagined, striking down far fewer laws on substantive due process grounds than is generally believed. The laws it overturned were not invariably social legislation, and relatively few due process cases involved freedom of contract. Moreover, Holmes, despite his reputation as a Great Dissenter, joined many of the cases striking down government action.
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