When Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes filed his brief dissenting opinion in Lochner v. New York in 1905 he must have noticed something new on the American horizon. In this now famous opinion he initiated the first steps which were to usher in a new era in American jurisprudence. "General propositions do not decide concrete cases," he announced with axiomatic brevity and, thus, gave the first telling blow to what may well be termed "introspective jurisprudence." This generalization on the subject of generality was followed in the opinion by a more concrete application, the implementing assertion that a reasonable man might think the New York law limiting the hours of employment a proper measure on the score of health, "Men whom I certainly could not pronounce unreasonable would uphold it as a first installment of a general regulation of the hours of work." Since that time the federal and state legislatures have gone much beyond that first installment.
A. J. Levin,
MR. JUSTICE WILLIAM JOHNSON AND THE COMMON INCIDENTS OF LIFE: I,
Mich. L. Rev.
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