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The Jurist's Art, 31 Columbia Law Review 1073 (1931)


If jurists have the feelings of other men, Monday, the fifth of January, nineteen hundred and thirty-one, must have been a day of consequence in the life of Mr. Justice Brandeis. On that day he handed down the judgment of the United States Supreme Court in the O'Gorman case. The cause was a simple suit in contract; the result depended upon the validity of a New Jersey statute regulating the commissions to be paid by insurance companies to their agents for securing business. The more general question was the tolerance to be accorded to legislative price-fixing under the Fourteenth Amendment. And, as the fortunes of litigation broke, the issue came to be the intellectual procedure by which the constitutionality of the acts which make up the public control of business are to be determined. Upon that day the views of Brandeis became "the opinion of the court," and a new chapter in judicial history began to be written.

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