During this particular era, Americans sought out to improve worst aspects of industrialization. In his that no women could not work more than 10 hours a day in factories and laundry. Its reasoning was based on somewhat anachronistic and paternalistic notions that the child-bearing role and physical frailty of women allowed the state to take measures to protect them. Oregon was decided in 1908, during the Progressive Era. The facts, which involve the constitutionality of the statute of Oregon limiting the hours of employment of women, are stated in the opinion.
Muller was ordered to pay the fine plus court costs. The case gained national attention as it worked its way to the Supreme Court since the statute had been on trial for violating constitutional authority. First Timeline Background Muller v. This shift brought along with it a number of new challenges, particularly in regard to family life and gender roles. Their rights in these respects can no more be infringed than the equal rights of their brothers. In writing its opinion, the Court noted that it had already ruled similar restrictions on male workers to be an unconstitutional violation of their rights. The Brandeis brief was later used by another up-and-coming lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, to persuade the Supreme Court that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional in the landmark case of Brown vs.
There is no necessary or reasonable connection between the limitation prescribed by the act and the public health, safety, or welfare. Oregon, one of the most important U. In patent cases, counsel are apt to open the argument with a discussion of the state of the art. They were portrayed in this paternalistic rhetoric as a group that needed special protection because of their reliance on men and physical weaknesses, as well as some implicitly mental weaknesses that rendered them less able to enter into contracts. New York imposed the law on the grounds that baking was an unhealthy occupation, but with no evidence, which basically gave them the power to regulate any trade, thereby stripping away the freedom of contract. By 1970 worker protection laws would affect as much as 90% of workers. His brief for the 1908 Supreme Court case Muller v.
Many individuals, including the Progressives, a grouping of various reform minded individuals concerned about the changes in American life, proposed new laws that limited and discouraged women from entering into employment. Brandeis calls attention to these statutes: Great Britain, 1844: Law 1901, 1 Edw. In marriage a wife's identity would be fully merged into the husband's. The 9-0 decision created a precedent that further separated the sexes and encouraged legislature that would push women into a field of subordination. That woman's physical structure and the performance of maternal functions place her at a disadvantage in the struggle for subsistence is obvious. Women were considered primarily as wives and mothers, to be protected from the rough world outside the home.
This bill established a ten-hour work day statute for women that worked in laundries and factories. In many of these reports, individual instances are given tending to support the general conclusion. The statute of Oregon of 1903 providing that no female shall work in certain establishments more than ten hour a day is not unconstitutional so far as respects laundries. Curt Muller, a laundry owner, was charged in 1905 with permitting a supervisor to require Mrs. Many words cannot make this plainer.
As healthy mothers are essential to vigorous offspring, the physical wellbeing of woman is an object of public interest. Born in 1856 in Louisville, Kentucky to well-to-do European immigrant parents, Brandeis was an excellent student. The defense, in what is known as the Brandeis Brief, circumvented previous Supreme Court decisions that had stressed workers' freedom to contract free of state regulation. Then follow extracts from over ninety reports of committees, bureaus of statistics, commissioners of hygiene, inspectors of factories, both in this country and in Europe, to the effect that long hours of labor are dangerous for women, primarily because of their special physical organization. Written in plain English, not in legalese. The Supreme Court of the State affirmed the conviction, State v. In 1903, their Legislative Assembly adopted a new bill entitled House Bill Number 89.
But, the ruling also reinforced sexual discrimination in the workplace experienced by many women through the rest of the twentieth century. This unique legal brief set a precedent for including social and economic information within legal arguments and gained Brandeis a reputation for thinking outside the box. On the other hand, the Muller decision clearly states that women are different than men and in need of special protection from the state. Muller was charged with second-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor offense. The court acknowledged the importance and significance of the brief in their published opinion.
However, other feminist groups opposed the Oregon law. Arguments by Petitioner or Appellant or Plaintiff or Prosecution To Be Added Arguments by Respondent or Appellee or Defendant To Be Added Decision The Supreme Court decision was unanimous, the justices voted 9-0 in favor of Oregon. Today, workers enjoy many protections in the form of minimum wages, overtime, and enforced break times, all of which came about after the Muller case. A time period that began around 1890 and lasted well into the 1920s. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or information linked to from this site.
Bound by our Constitution: Women, Workers, and the Minimum Wage. By 1930 only 6 protective laws remained on place but had no good enforcement system. The style became known as the Brandeis Brief. The notion that workers must be protected from their employers by limiting the number of hours they can be mandated to work is often seen as a positive aspect of this case. In Pursuit of Equality: Women, , and the.
By the late nineteenth century, mass immigration from Europe to the U. The United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the labor law and convicted Muller on February 24, 1908. Brandeis argued that future mothers would be harmed by overwork in factories, reducing their capacity for childbearing and resulting in weakened children. In the end, one of the most important things to come from this case is the Brandeis brief, a new style of legal argument that relied on social science to show why the Court should adopt a certain position. Also it deprived legislatures of their ability to protect constituents with legislation. Contacting Justia or any attorney through this site, via web form, email, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship. After a security guard asked the protestors to leave without any effect, the police were contacted.