Parrish, the Court--drawing on Muller v. Arguments by Petitioner or Appellant or Plaintiff or Prosecution To Be Added Arguments by Respondent or Appellee or Defendant To Be Added Decision The Supreme Court decision was unanimous, the justices voted 9-0 in favor of Oregon. This bill established a ten-hour work day statute for women that worked in laundries and factories. Public policies have untidy origins, entangled histories and unforeseen consequences. The state supreme court upheld the law's constitutionality. The wife can deal not only with her separate property, acquired from whatever source, in the same manner as her husband can with property belonging to him, but that she may make contracts and incur liabilities, and the same may be enforced against her, the same as if she were a femme sole.
There is no necessary or reasonable connection between the limitation prescribed by the act and the public health, safety, or welfare. This difference justifies a difference in legislation, and upholds that which is designed to compensate for some of the burdens which rest upon her. Oregon Reconsidered: The Origins of a Sex-Based Doctrine of Liberty of Contract. It has remained constitutional for state law to mandate the amount of hours women can spend in the workplace, in order to protect them physically. In patent cases, counsel are apt to open the argument with a discussion of the state of the art.
The court argue that the act is not in conflict with the Federal Constitution. Then follow extracts from over ninety reports of committees, bureaus of statistics, commissioners of hygiene, inspectors of factories, both in this country and in Europe, to the effect that long hours of labor are dangerous for women, primarily because of their special physical organization. As minors, thought not to the same extent, she has been looked upon in the courts as needing especial care that her rights may be preserved. We have not referred in this discussion to the denial of the elective franchise in the State of Oregon, for, while that may disclose a lack of political equality in all things with her brother, that is not of itself decisive. Following the precedent, multiple states created new laws and statutes that regulated wages, hours, and working conditions. The regulation of her hour of labor falls within the police power of the State, and a statute directed exclusively to such regulation does not conflict with the due process or equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The law was similar to laws passed in many states during what is known as the Progressive Era in an attempt to provide some protection for workers from the harsh consequences of industrialization. While the general liberty to contract in regard to one's business and the sale of one's labor is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, that liberty is subject to proper restrictions under the police power of the State. The decision in Lochner v. Emma Gotcher to work more than 10 hours in a single day. First Timeline Background Muller v.
The kinds of work prescribed are not unlawful, nor are they declared to be immoral or dangerous to the public health; nor can such a law be sustained on the ground that it is designed to protect women on account of their sex. The reason runs deeper, and rests in the inherent difference between the two sexes, and in the different functions in life which they perform. The matter is discussed in these reports in different aspects, but all agree as to the danger. The case established a precedent in 1908 to expand the reach of state activity into the realm of protective labor legislation. Though limitations upon personal and contractual rights may be removed by legislation, there is that in her disposition and habits of life which will operate against a full assertion of those rights. It is impossible to close one's eyes to the fact that she still looks to her brother, and depends upon him.
Many words cannot make this plainer. Its reasoning was based on somewhat anachronistic and paternalistic notions that the child-bearing role and physical frailty of women allowed the state to take measures to protect them. This is especially true when the burdens of motherhood are upon her. He established his control at the outset by superior physical strength, and this control in various forms, with diminishing intensity, has continued to the present. It truly is a landmark event in American history.
She teaches history and American studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. New York, , that a law providing that no laborer shall be required or permitted to work in bakeries more than sixty hours in a week or ten hours in a day was not, as to men, a legitimate exercise of the police power of the State, but an unreasonable, unnecessary, and arbitrary interference with the right and liberty of the individual to contract in relation to his labor, and, as such, was in conflict with, and void under, the Federal Constitution. Italy, June 19, 1902, art. Differentiated by these matters from the other sex, she is properly placed in a class by herself, and legislation designed for her protection may be sustained even when like legislation is not necessary for men, and could not be sustained. Leonard, 36 Oregon 390, 396, after a review of the various statutes of the State upon the subject: We may therefore say with perfect confidence that, with these three sections upon the statute book, the wife can deal not only with her separate property, acquired from whatever source, in the same manner as her husband can with property belonging to him, but that she may make contracts and incur liabilities, and the same may be enforced against her, the same as if she were a femme sole.
It is impossible to close one's eyes to the fact that she still looks to her brother, and depends upon him. Their rights in these respects can no more be infringed than the equal rights of their brothers. The hours of work may be so arranged as to permit the employment of females at any time so that they shall not work more than ten hours during the twenty-four hours of any one day. Their rights in these respects can no more be infringed than the equal rights of their brothers. Hardy 1898 but then in Lochner v. In many of these reports individual instances are given tending to support the general conclusion. Code 1905, § 9440; South Dakota: 1877, Rev.