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Williamson v. Lee Optical

Significance

Williamson v. Lee Optical was one of several cases marking the death knell of "substantive due process." Starting with the New Deal under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s, the implementation of national economic policies had threatened the concept. In 1955, with Williamson v. Lee Optical, the Court was in the midst of a paradigm shift in its views on that concept: gone were the days, as Justice Douglas said, when the Court would use substantive due process on behalf of businesspeople such as the appellee in this case; but a day was just dawning when the concept would be applied in favor of other constituencies.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962Williamson v. Lee Optical - Significance, A Vision Problem In Oklahoma, Substantive Due Process: From Slaughterhouse To Optician's Shop