Saturday, May 17, 2014

Williamson v. Lee Optical case brief summary

Williamson v. Lee Optical (1955)


Facts/Issue/Holding: OK law made it unlawful for anyone not optometrist or ophthalmologists to fit lenses.  Statute specifically exempted “ready-to-wear” sellers.  In effect, statute prevented opticians from fitting old glasses into new frames.  Court held did not violate EP clause.

Reasoning/Major Points: 
·         EP clause extends ONLY to invidious discrimination.
·         In cases where invidious discrimination not apparent, legislatures may take steps to eliminate some evils but not all without violating the EP clause.
·         Legislature may have felt that the “ready-to-wear” branch did not pose as great a problem as the other branches.

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