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1997

John Marshall Law School

Series

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Justice George Sutherland And Economic Liberty: Constitutional Conservatism And The Problem Of Factions, 6 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 1 (1997), Samuel R. Olken Jan 1997

Justice George Sutherland And Economic Liberty: Constitutional Conservatism And The Problem Of Factions, 6 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 1 (1997), Samuel R. Olken

Faculty Scholarship

Most scholars have viewed Justice George Sutherland as a conservative jurist who opposed government regulation because of his adherence to laissez-faire economics and Social Darwinism, or because of his devotion to natural rights. In this Article, Professor Olken analyzes these widely held misperceptions of Justice Sutherland's economic liberty jurisprudence, which was based not on socio-economic theory, but on historical experience and common law. Justice Sutherland, consistent with the judicial conservatism of the Lochner era, wanted to protect individual rights from the whims of political factions and changing democratic majorities. The Lochner era differentiation between government regulations enacted for the ...