Rufus Wheeler Peckham

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Peckham, Rufus Wheeler

(pĕk`əm), 1838–1909, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1895–1909), b. Albany, N.Y. Admitted (1859) to the bar, he became a leading Albany lawyer and was prominent in local Democratic politics. He served on the state supreme court (1883–86) and on the state court of appeals (1886–95) before he was appointed by President Grover Cleveland to the U.S. Supreme Court. A zealous defender of property rights, he ruled in the famous case of Lochner v. New York (1905) that a maximum-hours law was unconstitutional.

Peckham, Rufus Wheeler

(1838–1909) Supreme Court justice; born in Albany, N.Y. He served on New York's supreme court (1883–86) and court of appeals (1886–95). President Grover Cleveland named him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1896–1909) where he wrote almost 400 opinions.
References in periodicals archive ?
While the state legislature had the authority to enact valid health and safety regulations, Justice Rufus Peckham wrote for the 5-to-4 majority, the limit on work hours "is not, within any fair meaning of the term, a health law." It involved "neither the safety, the morals, nor the welfare, of the public," Peckham wrote, unlike those sections of the Bakeshop Act regulating "proper washrooms and closets," the height of ceilings, floor conditions, and "proper drainage, plumbing, and painting," which he deemed legitimate.
Justice Rufus Peckham, writing for the five-member Lochner majority, held that the New York statute did not fall into any of the permissible police power categories.
He applauds justices such as Stephen Fields and Rufus Peckham for expanding constitutional protection for economic liberties beyond what (in my opinion) an objective reading of the Constitution provides.