In this timely reevaluation of an infamous Supreme Court
decision, David E. Bernstein provides a compelling survey of the
history and background of Lochner v. New York. This 1905
decision invalidated state laws limiting work hours and became the
leading case contending that novel economic regulations were
unconstitutional. Sure to be controversial, the book argues that
the decision was well grounded in precedent and that modern
constitutional jurisprudence owes at least as much to the
limited-government ideas of Lochner proponents as to the
more expansive vision of its Progressive opponents.
Tracing the influence of this decision through subsequent battles
over segregation laws, sex discrimination, civil liberties, and
more, Rehabilitating Lochner argues not only that the
court acted reasonably in Lochner, but that
Lochner and like-minded cases have been widely
misunderstood and unfairly maligned ever since.