The Civil Rights Cases of 1883
United States v. Stanley
United States v. Ryan
United States v. Nichols
United States v. Singleton
Robinson et ux. v. Memphis and Charleston R.R. Co.
109 U.S. 3
3 S.Ct. 18
27 L.Ed. 835
This case involves the 13th amendment, the 14th amendment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and whether the Federal Government can legally regulate the state laws pertaining to race, especially referring to African-Americans.
The Facts of the Case
At issue was the right of state government to make laws constricting African-Americans by segregating them to different areas of public areas. In US v. Stanley, Stanley had not been allowing African-Americans into his inn. The same was true for US v. Nichols. In US v. Ryan, Ryan had refused to let African-Americans into his theaters. The same was true for US v. Singleton. In Robinson et ux. v. Memphis and Charleston R.R. Co., Robinson charged the R.R. for unfair treatment because of his race. Each of these cases referred to the 14th amendment as the basis for the innocence of the defendants, while each prosecutor maintained that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 stated clearly that no discrimination could occur because of race. The Supreme Court at this time was Democrat dominated, with Morrison Waite, a Democrat, presiding as Chief Justice. The Radical Republicans were finally losing steam, but the remaining radicals looked to the Civil Rights Act as a lasting influence that they prided themselves on accomplishing, while Southerners, and especially Southern Democrats, saw this act as a knife between the ribs; they wondered whether they would be able to assert their dominance over the “inferior” African-Americans with this law. The Holding
Waite held to the majority opinion in this case, written by Joseph P. Bradley. The Supreme Court decided 8-1 in favor of the defendants. Bradley wrote in his decision for all of the cases that the 13th amendment does not extend to limiting...
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