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Williamson v. Lee Optical

Significance, A Vision Problem In Oklahoma, Substantive Due Process: From Slaughterhouse To Optician's Shop


Mac Q. Williamson, Attorney General of Oklahoma


Lee Optical of Oklahoma

Appellant's Claim

That an Oklahoma law, which prohibited persons other than licensed optometrists and ophthalmologists from fitting lenses for eyeglasses, did not constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

James C. Harkin, Assistant Attorney General of Oklahoma

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Dick H. Woods

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, Harold Burton, Tom C. Clark, William O. Douglas (writing for the Court), Felix Frankfurter, Sherman Minton, Stanley Forman Reed, Earl Warren

Justices Dissenting

None (John Marshall Harlan II did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

28 March 1955


Upheld the power of the legislatures to make state laws regulating business, and declared that "The day is gone when this Court uses the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to strike down state laws . .. "


Keynes, Edward. Liberty, Property, and Privacy: Toward a Jurisprudence of Substantive Due Process. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962