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Historical Framework For Reviving Constitutional Protection For Property And Contract Rights , James L. Kainen
Post-New Deal constitutionalism is in search of a theory that justifies judicial intervention on behalf of individual rights while simultaneously avoiding the charge of "Lochnerism."' The dominant historical view dismisses post-bellum substantive due process as an anomalous development in the American constitutional tradition. Under this approach, Lochner represents unbounded protection for economic rights that permitted the judiciary to read laissez faire, pro-business policy preferences into the constitutional text. Today's revisionists have mounted a substantial challenge to the dismissive views of traditionalists. Indeed, some claim Lochner reached the right result, but for the wrong reason. The revisionists characterize substantive due ...