Lochner v. New York

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Lochner v. New York

198 U.S. 45 (1905), struck down a New York law setting 10 hours' labor a day as the legal maximum. In a case in which a baker had contracted with his employees for longer than the 10-hour working day, Justice Rufus W. Peckham declared that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited the states from curtailing a person's liberty to make his or her own economic arrangements with his or her employees. This decision drew a stinging rebuke from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., whose opinion became the prevailing interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment by the 1930s, when legislation such as maximum-hours laws were held to be constitutional.

Learn More About Lochner v. New York

Dictionary Entries Near Lochner v. New York

local union

Lochner v. New York


See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Lochner v. New York.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/Lochner%20v.%20New%20York. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!