Remembering a “Progressive” victory

December 10th, 2008 | Tags: ,

From Reason:

This Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will host a reenactment organized by the Supreme Court Historical Society of the 1908 case Muller v. Oregon, a landmark Progressive Era decision where the Court unanimously upheld Oregon’s law limiting female laundry employees from working more than 10 hours a day.

This “progressive” victory was made on the following basis:

The Brandeis Brief made much the same point, claiming that since women were responsible for bearing future generations, their bodies were in some sense collective property. “The overwork of future mothers,” Brandeis wrote, “directly attacks the welfare of the nation.”…

Writing for the majority in Muller, Justice David Brewer followed Brandeis’ lead. “As healthy mothers are essential to vigorous offspring,” Brewer wrote, “the physical well-being of woman becomes an object of public interest and care in order to preserve the strength and vigor of the race.”

Although shocking this isn’t much different from other oppressive views imposed on us be government for our own good: smoking bans, fatty food bans, campaign finance reform, gun bans, etc. All are efforts, largely by “progressives”, to sacrifice our freedom for the good of the state.

Meet the new tyrant, same as the old tyrant.

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