First, you’ll want to do a search for the “Brandeis Brief” and “Muller v Oregon”, and familiarize yourself with the case, and Brandeis’ argument (note that this case was decided BEFORE Brandeis joined the Court – he was an attorney for one of the parties; he WASN’T a Justice yet on the Court). (a) What were the facts and issues involved in the case? What law had the Oregon state Legislature passed that was being challenged? Who challenged it? (b) Just three years earlier, in a very similar case (Lochner v New York ), the Supreme Court had heard arguments about a very similar law, but had ruled for an opposite result. What was the reasoning in Lochner? How does the LEGAL REASONING in the Muller case differ from that of Lochner (or, think of it this way – how did they apply the Constitution differently)? (c) What did Brandeis argue in his famous brief in the Muller case? (d) Why is that argument considered important in the history of the Supreme Court? (Hint: it has something to do with “substantive due process”, and its importance is much broader than just gender discrimination and/or labor law.
MULLER V OREGON