Peckham, Rufus Wheeler (pĕkˈəm) [key], 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.
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