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Muller v. Oregon Brief for the Defendant in Error

Brief For The Defendant In Error, Muller V. Oregon

Louis D. Brandeis, October Term, 1907

The World's Experience Upon Which the Legislation Limiting the Hours of Labor for Women is Based

In MULLER V. OREGON in 1908, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Oregon law that prohibited the employment of women for more than ten hours a day. The decision was based in large part on a brief submitted by LOUIS D. BRANDEIS in support of the law. The brief emphasized the differences between women and men and presented information showing that long work hours could have injurious effects on the health and welfare of women and their children, including their unborn children. The Court unanimously agreed, noting that "woman's physical structure and the performance of maternal functions place her at a disadvantage in the struggle for subsistence."

The Brandeis brief signaled a change in the type of evidence a court would consider in determining a case. With the growth of the social sciences, quantitative and qualitative studies conducted by researchers would increasingly find their way into U.S. courtrooms.

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