• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court ceased to use the substantive due process concept to overrule legislative judgments in economic liberty cases.

Justice Louis D. BrandeisBrandeis, Louis D. wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority, upholding a New Jersey statute that regulated the fees insurance companies paid to their local agents. Previously, the Supreme Court would have struck down this statute as a violation of the substantive due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but in this case, the Court ruled that legislative enactments were to be presumed constitutional and could be overturned only if there were a factual foundation in the record for unconstitutionality. Brandeis further argued that the Court should stop using the substantive due process concept to overrule legislatures in economic matters. Justices Willis Van Devanter, James C. McReynolds, George Sutherland, and Pierce Butler dissented vigorously, asserting freedom of contract and the protection of property required exactly the restraints on the legislative branch being abandoned by the majority in this case.Due process, substantive;O’Gorman and Young v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co.[OGorman and Young v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co.]

Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote the majority opinion in O'Gorman, which drew vigorous dissents from four other justices.

(Library of Congress)

Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Co. v. Chicago

Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway Co. v. Minnesota

Contract, freedom of

Due process, procedural

Due process, substantive

Fourteenth Amendment

Property rights

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