The White Court (1910–21)


Why did Justice Harlan disagree with the “rule of reason” in his partial dissenting opinion?

Justice John Marshall Harlan issued an opinion that was part concurring and part dissenting. He concurred with the result that Standard Oil violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and should be dissolved. However, he dissented from much of the Court’s reasoning and the adoption of the “rule of reason.” To Justice Harlan, the law meant what it said when it outlawed any restraint of trade. He did not believe that the judiciary should have the power to add the word “unreasonable” to the statute.


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