Tag Archive for John Marshall Harlan

VNV Tuesday – …Doomed to Repeat It (Lochner v. New York, 1905; Part Two) 7/17/18

Lochner’s Home Bakery, where it all started.

Last week, the background leading to the Lochner v. New York lawsuit was discussed, as well as the decision of the majority which reversed the holdings of the county court, the New York Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals. (Part One) Initially, the vote was 5-4 in favor of upholding the New York law, and Justice John Harlan wrote the draft opinion, while Justice Rufus Peckham wrote the draft dissent. Somewhere along the way, however, one justice changed their vote (most sources suggest it was Chief Justice Melville Fuller), and the opinion of Justice Harlan, with Justices Edward White and William Day concurring, became the dissent. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a separate dissent.

VNV Tuesday – …Doomed to Repeat It (Lochner v. New York, 1905) 7/10/18

Lochner’s Home Bakery, where it all started.

Like most non-lawyers, I struggle to understand the nuances of Supreme Court decisions, and I rely heavily on SCOTUSBlog (found here) to explain decisions in terms that I can understand. When the Janus v. AFSCME decision came down, followed by Justice Kennedy’s retirement announcement, I heard a lot of people talking about a return to the Lochner era. I had a vague recollection of the decision, but that mostly consisted of Lochner = bad. Today’s post is my IANAL attempt to provide an overview of the 1905 Lochner decision.