Oregon passed a law saying
that businesses couldn't make women work more than 10 hours per day.
Muller challenged the law as unconstitutional.
Muller pointed to the recent
decision in Lochner v. New York (198
U.S. 45 (1905)), which held that a New York law limiting the hours a
bakery could make employees work was unconstitutional.
The US Supreme Court upheld
The US Supreme Court looked
at Lochner, which said that the
government can interfere with freedom of contract only to
serve a valid police purpose of
protecting public health, public safety or public morals.
In this case, based on a
famous brief by future Justice Brandeis, the Court found that women would
suffer health issues if asked to work long hours.
Presumably because they are
more 'delicate' than men.
Since there was a legitimate
public health issue, Oregon's police powers were sufficient to override the constitutional guarantee of freedom