...Nor was Lochner controversial at the time it was decided. “Of the eight law review articles to comment on Lochner shortly after it was released, seven supported it, some vigorously,” Bernstein explains. “Also contrary to historical myth, newspaper editorial commentary on Lochner was generally supportive.”
(Precisely the sort of language used by Herb Croly, by the way.)
It is ironic that Lochner's logic also supported blacks and women:
...In methodology and approach, Lochner fits comfortably with all sorts of more celebrated cases, from Dean Milk v. Madison in 1951 (involving protectionism) to Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 (the privacy ruling later used against Robert Bork in his ugly confirmation hearing).
So the Progressives preferred the Klan, directly or indirectly. Fits right in: they elected them regularly in the South.