Muller v. Oregon Case Brief

Facts of the case

Oregon enacted a law that limited women to ten hours of work in factories and laundries. The owner of a laundry business, Curt Muller, was fined $10 when he violated the law. Muller appealed the conviction. The state supreme court upheld the law’s constitutionality.

Why is the case important?

The Petitioner, Muller (Petitioner), was found guilty of violating Oregon state statute that limited the length of the workday for women in laundry facilities.

Question

Is a state statute limiting the length of a woman’s workday constitutional?

ANSWER

Yes. Women, like minors, are a special class of worker that needs protection. This statute is within the state’s police power to protect the health of the general public because the physical well-being of women is paramount to the production of healthy offspring.

CONCLUSION

The court reasoned that women needed protective legislation due to their social role in society.

  • Advocates: William D. Fenton for the plaintiff in error H. B. Adams for the defendant in error Louis D. Brandeis for the defendant in error
  • Petitioner: Curt Muller
  • Respondent: Oregon
  • DECIDED BY:Fuller Court
  • Location: Grand Laundry
Citation: 208 US 412 (1908)
Argued: Jan 15, 1908
Decided: Feb 24, 1908
Muller v. Oregon Case Brief