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History - Essay Example

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The ruling was so controversial that it affected many ruling I the decades to follow that it later be referred as the ‘Lochner era’. This was a…
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Download file to see previous pages... The magnitude of this case was clear from the onset as the burden of proof was left in the hands of top government legal practitioners. No greater expectation was put on the side of the petitioner, Mr. Lochner, whom many thought, would lose.
The case was about the working environments in the bakeries and Mr. Lochnerhad been fined by the court for extending the working hours for his employee thereby bridging the rules stipulated by the state. The working hours in the bakeries were to be not more than 10 hour a day averaging to about 60 hours a week (Bernstein, 2005). However, Mr. Lochner argued his case based on individual contract and that the state policing power had no rights in interfering in such private issues. The Supreme Court ruling on this case would spark serious indifference that would be felt over a long period (Bernstein, 2005).
The sitting judges of the Supreme Court at that time lead by Justice Peckam who declared their decision voting 5-4 in support of the case (Bernstein, 2005). They argued that the contracts in the bakery were a matter that would be derived from the Fourth amendment. The Fourth Amendment stipulated that "All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring and possessing and protecting property: and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness (Bernstein, 2005)."
The ruling cited supported the ruling by arguing that the state had no right in how an individual entered into a contract. This was in reference to a previous case in 1897 between Allgeryer and Louisiana in which the liberty of contract clause was due applied (Bernstein, 2005). This was mainly geared to put off the foreign investors from the competition with the already bakeshops in the state. Their decision would later be termed as judicial activism in favor of individual interest and the supporting economic liberty while depriving ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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