Explain How Muller V Oregon Represented a Victory

Explain How Muller V Oregon Represented a Victory

1908 United states of america Supreme Courtroom case

Muller v. Oregon

Supreme Court of the United States

Argued Jan xv, 1908
Decided February 24, 1908
Total case proper noun Brusk Muller, Plaintiff in Error v. The State of Oregon. Appellant’southward claim: Oregon’s 1903 maximum hours police force is unconstitutional.
Citations 208 U.South. 412 (more)

28 S. Ct. 324; 52 50. Ed. 551; 1908 U.S. LEXIS 1452

Example history
Prior Defendant convicted; affirmed, 85 P. 855 (Or. 1906)
Subsequent None
Oregon’south limit on the working hours of women was ramble under the Fourteenth Amendment, as information technology was justified past the strong state interest in protecting women’s wellness. Supreme Court of Oregon affirmed.
Courtroom membership
Chief Justice
Melville Fuller
Acquaintance Justices
John M. Harlan·
David J. Brewer
Edward D. White·
Rufus W. Peckham
Joseph McKenna·
Oliver W. Holmes Jr.
William R. Day·
William H. Moody
Case opinion
Majority Brewer, joined unanimously
Laws practical
U.S. Const. meliorate. 14; 1903 Or. Laws p. 148

Muller v. Oregon
, 208 U.S. 412 (1908), was a landmark decision past the United states Supreme Court.[i]
Women were provided by state mandate lesser work-hours than allotted to men. The posed question was whether women’s liberty to negotiate a contract with an employer should be equal to a man’southward. The law did not recognize sexual activity-based discrimination in 1908; information technology was unrecognized until the example of
Reed five. Reed
in 1971; here, the test was not under the equal protections clause, but a test based on the general police force powers of the state to protect the welfare of women when it infringed on her central right to negotiate contracts; inequality was not a deciding factor because the sexes were inherently different in their particular conditions and had completely dissimilar functions;[2]
usage of labor laws that were made to nurture women’due south welfare and for the “benefit of all” people[3]
was decided to be not a violation of the Constitution’s Contract Clause.

The example describes women as having dependency upon men in a manner such that women needed their rights to be preserved past the land; their “rights” were in effect, to have maternal gender roles, once more however to the loss of some of their contractual liberties. The quotes for the decision follows:

woman has always been dependent upon man.”[iv]

“in the struggle for subsistence she is not an equal competitor with her blood brother.”[three]

“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.”[3]

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“her physical structure and a proper discharge of her maternal functions — having in view non only her own health, just the well-beingness of the race — justify legislation to protect her from the greed as well as the passion of man.”[three]

“The limitations which this statute places upon her contractual powers, upon her correct to concord with her employer as to the time she shall labor, are non imposed solely for her benefit, but also largely for the do good of all.”[3]

The ruling had important implications for protective labor legislation[5]
and was decided only three years after
Lochner five. New York,[six]
in which a New York police restricting the weekly working hours of bakers in the land was invalidated.



Curt Muller, the owner of a laundry business, was convicted of violating Oregon labor laws by making a female employee work more than x hours in a single twenty-four hour period. Muller was fined $10. Muller appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court and then to the U.S. Supreme Court, both of which upheld the constitutionality of the labor law and affirmed his confidence.

Louis Brandeis, the immature attorney who used social science to debate that women workers needed special protection due to the inherent difference between women and men. Brandeis wrote a unique legal brief which later became known as the Brandeis brief, in which at that place were just 2 pages of legal arguments followed by over one hundred pages of statistics and proficient opinions from social scientists who argued that women were physically, mentally, and emotionally unable to work for more than than 10 hours at a time. His legal strategy paid off.



In Justice David Josiah Brewer’s unanimous opinion, the Court upheld the Oregon regulation. The Court did non overrule
Lochner, but instead distinguished it on the basis of “the divergence between the sexes”. The changeable physiology and social function of women provided a strong state interest in reducing their working hours.

That woman’s physical structure and the operation of maternal functions place her at a disadvantage in the struggle for subsistence is obvious. This is peculiarly true when the burdens of motherhood are upon her. Fifty-fifty when they are not, past abundant testimony of the medical fraternity continuance for a long fourth dimension on her feet at work, repeating this from mean solar day to solar day, tends to injurious effects upon the trunk, and as healthy mothers are essential to vigorous offspring, the physical well-beingness of adult female becomes an object of public interest and intendance in order to preserve the force and vigor of the race.208 U.Southward.
at 412.

“When the constitutionality of the Oregon 10-hour law for women was challenged, Florence Kelley committed the National Consumers League to it’s [sic] defense. Equally Kathryn Kish Sklar has explained, NCL’s research manager, Josephine Goldmark, prepared a pathbreaking cursory, of which only 2 pages consisted of traditional abstract legal reasoning, and over 100 pages offered sociological evidence. Her brother-in-law, the hereafter Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, argued the instance in the U.S. Supreme Court. Goldmark and Brandeis’s innovation would come up to exist known as a “Brandeis Brief,” and many others would later exist modeled on it.”[vii]

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Goldmark and her team were able to get together 98 out of the 118 pages of the brief, meaning much of the credit for the cursory goes to her.[8]

Significance of the case


Groups like the National Consumer League (which included Florence Kelley and Josephine Goldmark as feminists) and the land won shorter hours for women. However, many equal-rights feminists opposed the ruling, since it allowed laws based on stereotyped gender roles that restricted women’south rights and financial Independence. While information technology provided protection from long hours to white women, it did non extend to women of color, food processors, agricultural workers, and women who worked in white-collar jobs. The government interest in public welfare outweighed the liberty of contract that is displayed in the 14th Subpoena and the effects of
Muller five. Oregon
did not modify until the New Bargain days in the 1930s. Information technology was likewise a watershed in the development of Maternalist Reforms.[9]

The ruling was criticized because information technology ready a precedent to utilise sex differences, and in particular women’due south kid-bearing chapters, as a footing for dissever legislation, supporting the thought that the family has priority over women’south rights equally workers.[five]
Feminist Scholars such equally Alice Kessler-Harris opposed the ruling as “an assault on women every bit workers” cloaked in altruistic labor laws. Kessler-Harris recognized the admirable motives of the period’south protective labor laws but also observed that the Muller case provided justification for not but regulating but possibly prohibiting women from working in certain capacities. Moreover, the instance supported a definition of women in lodge that according to Joan Hoff was “highly traditional and restrictive.” While many of the criticisms of Muller came by scholars in later decades there were some critics at the time of its ruling. One such critic was suffragist and editor of the Rose Urban center Woman’s’ Tribune Clara Colby who commented two years before the case was decided: “the whole discipline is very difficult and it had amend be left to woman’s own judgement as to what is necessary and desirable. The State has no right to lay any disability upon woman as an individual and if it does as a female parent, it should give her a motherhood pension which would tend to even upwards conditions and be better for the family.”[xiii]

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“Until the belatedly 1930s, when the Fair Labor Standards Human action created gender-neutral workplace protections, the Equal Rights Amendment championed past the NWP would have demolished the gains for women workers won in Muller. This dispute between feminists who valued protection and feminists who valued equality continued until the latter group gained the upper hand in the 1970s.”[xiv]

Come across also


  • Bunting v. Oregon
  • List of U.s. Supreme Courtroom cases, volume 208
  • Lochner v. New York, 198 U.Due south. 45 (1905)
  • Adkins five. Children’s Hospital, 261 U.South. 525 (1923)
  • Due west Declension Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937)



  1. ^

    Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.Due south. 412 (1908).

  2. ^

    Muller, 208 U.Due south. at 423.
  3. ^






    Muller, 208 U.S. at 422.

  4. ^

    Muller, 208 U.Southward. at 421.
  5. ^



    Baron, Ava (1981). “Protective Labor Legislation and the Cult of Domesticity”.
    Journal of Family unit Issues.
    (i): 25–38. doi:ten.1177/0192513X8100200103. S2CID 145776998.

  6. ^

    Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905).

  7. ^

    415 Protecting Women Wage-Workers, Women’s America, Refocusing the Past.

  8. ^

    Ginsburg, Ruth Bader. “Lessons Learned from Louis D. Brandeis | BrandeisNOW.” BrandeisNOW. N.p., 28 January 2016. Web. 28 September 2016.

  9. ^

    Brandeis, L. D. (1907). The Brandeis Brief–in its entirety. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://louisville.edu/law/library/special-collections/the-louis-d.-brandeis-collection/the-brandeis-brief-in-its-entirety

  10. ^

    Woloch, N. (1996).
    Muller v. Oregon: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press.

  11. ^

    Barney, Southward. 50. (1999). “Maternalism and the Promotion of Scientific Medicine during the Industrial Transformation of Appalachia, 1880-1930.”
    NWSA Journal, xi(3), 68–92.

  12. ^

    Koven, S., & Michel, Southward. (1993).
    Mothers of a New Earth, Maternalist Politics and the Origins of Welfare States
    (). Routledge.

  13. ^

    D., Johnston, Robert (2013-10-31).
    The radical middle class : populist democracy and the question of capitalism in progressive era Portland, Oregon. Princeton, N.J. ISBN9781400849529. OCLC 861692648.

  14. ^

    “Muller v. State of Oregon.” Open Collections Program: Women Working,. N.p., north.d. Spider web. 28 Sept. 2016.

Further reading


  • Becker, Mary Eastward. (1986). “From
    Muller five. Oregon
    to Fetal Vulnerability Policies”.
    University of Chicago Police Review.
    (iv): 1219–1273. doi:10.2307/1599748. JSTOR 1599748.

  • Bernstein, David E. (2011). Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights against Progressive Reform. Chapter 4. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-04353-three
  • Cushman, Clare (2001).
    Supreme Courtroom Decisions and Women’s Rights: Milestone to Equality. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly. pp. 17–eighteen. ISBN978-one-56802-614-5.

  • Woloch, Nancy (1996).

    Muller v. Oregon: A Brief History with Documents
    . Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press. ISBN978-0-312-12816-6.

External links


Explain How Muller V Oregon Represented a Victory

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muller_v._Oregon

Originally posted 2022-07-31 23:52:52.

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