(1) The general right to contract in business is clearly part of the individual liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. However, the right to hold both property and liberty are subject to such reasonable conditions as may be imposed by a government pursuant to its police powers.
(2) An earlier law restricting the work hours in certain dangerous occupations was upheld. The law here challenged, however, has no reference whatever to the health, safety, morals, or welfare of the public. The state claims an interest in the individual worker’s health, but this goes too far; the individual’s liberty must impose some restraint on the police power.
(3) This is not a substitution of the Court’s judgment for the legislature’s but merely a determination of whether the attempted regulation is within the state’s police power.
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