Progressivism and the Law

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J. Pierpont Morgan, the symbol of monopolistic excess to progressive reformers

We'll be covering quite a bit of ground in the assignment today, to conclude with a brief look at the single most famous case of the Progressive Era, Lochner v. New York.



Republic According to John Marshall Harlan, pp.147-184.


Lochner v. New York: Harlan dissent
Muller v. Oregon (1908)



In addition to preparing for the moot court, please ponder the following questions as you read:

1.) How could the same court decide Lochner and Muller the way it did? What was the common ground intellectually between the two cases?

2.) Given that increasing popular participation formed one of the key elements of the Progressive Era, was it inevitable that the Supreme Court--regardless of its decisions--would have become a target of criticism?

3.) Given the emphasis on states' rights in Harlan's dissent and the talk about the special status of women in Muller, can either of these opinions be viewed as "progressive" in their conclusions?