WILLIAMSON v. LEE OPTICAL OF OKLAHOMA
An Oklahoma law prohibited persons who were not licensed optometrists or ophthalmologists to fit lenses for eyeglasses. Non-licensed individuals were also prohibited from duplicating optical instruments without written prescriptions from licensed ophthalmologists. The Lee Optical Company challenged the law, bringing a suit against the state Attorney General, Mac Q. Williamson.
Did the Oklahoma law violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
Legal provision: Equal Protection
In a unanimous decision, the Court held that while the law may have been "needless" and "wasteful," it was the duty of the legislature, not the courts, "to balance the advantages and disadvantages of the new requirement." The Court emphasized that "[t]he day is gone when this Court uses the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to strike down state laws, regulatory of business and industrial conditions, because they may be unwise, improvident, or out of harmony with a particular school of thought."