employing one not more than three hours overtime. It might be regarded as more difficult to detect violations of the law by an employment for a shorter time than for a longer time. This penalty also goes to the employee in case the employer avails himself of the overtime clause."
But we need not cast about for reasons for the legislative judgment. We are not required to be sure of the precise reasons for its exercise or be convinced of the wisdom of its exercise. . . . It is enough for our decision if the legislation under review was passed in the exercise of an admitted power of government; and that it is not as complete as it might be, not as rigid in its prohibitions as might be, gives, perhaps, evasion too much play, is lighter in its penalties than it might be, is no impeachment of its legality. This may be a blemish, giving opportunity for criticism and difference in characterization, but the constitutional validity of legislation cannot be determined by the degree of exactness of its provisions or remedies. New policies are usually tentative in their beginnings, advance in firmness as they advance in acceptance. They do not at a particular moment of time spring full-perfect in extent or means from the legislative brain. Time may be necessary to fashion them to precedent customs and conditions. . . .
There is a contention made that the law, even regarded as regulating hours of service, is not either necessary or useful "for preservation of the health of employés in mills, factories and manufacturing establishments." The record contains no facts to support the contention, and against it is the judgment of the legislature and the Supreme Court, which said: "In view of the well-known fact that the custom in our industries does not sanction a longer service than 10 hours per day, it cannot be held, as a matter of law, that the legislative requirement is unreasonable or arbitrary as to hours of labor. Statistics show that the average daily working time among workingmen in different countries is, in Australia, 8 hours; in Great Britain, 9; in the United States, 9 3/4; in Denmark, 9 3/4; in Norway, 10; Sweden, France, and Switzerland, 10 1/2; Germany, 10 1/4; Belgium, Italy, and Austria, 11; and in Russia, 12 hours."
The next contention of plaintiff in error is that the law discriminates against mills, factories and manufacturing establishments in that it requires that a manufacturer, without reason other than the fiat of the legislature, shall pay for a commodity, meaning labor, one and one-half times the market value thereof while other people purchasing labor in like manner in the open market are not subjected to the same burden. But the basis of the contention is that which we have already disposed of, that is, that the law regulates wages, not hours of service. Regarding it as the latter, there is a basis for the classification.
Further discussion we deem unnecessary.
The CHIEF JUSTICE [ WHITE], MR. JUSTICE VAN DEVANTER and MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS, dissent.
MR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS took no part in the consideration and decision of the case.