Commentary Reviews Rehabilitating Lochner

The review is by Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds, and it starts like this:

With the possible exception of Plessy v. Ferguson, which gave us the racial doctrine of “separate but equal,” the case of Lochner v. New York stands as the most reviled decision of the post–Civil War Supreme Court. As every law student knows, Lochner was a case in which a court packed with business sympathizers stuck it to the little guy in a shameless display of judicial activism.

But, like a surprisingly large number of the things everyone knows, this conventional wisdom is almost entirely wrong, and David E. Bernstein’s new book, Rehabilitating Lochner, makes clear just how wrong it is—and how and why the Lochner narrative became established in the legal academy. In fact, writes Bernstein, “The Lochner line of cases pioneered the protection of the right of women to compete with men for employment free from sex-based regulations, the right of African Americans to exercise liberty and property rights free from Jim Crow legislation, and civil liberties against the states ranging from freedom of expression to the right to choose a private school education for one’s children.”

Unfortunately, the rest of the piece, which continues in a very positive vein, is behind a paywall, but perhaps Glenn will provide a link at some point.