was a violation of equal protection.
The purpose of the equal protection clause was to provide protection for
the civil rights of blacks. This law clearly discriminates against
blacks. Furthermore, any classification of jurors by race would be
unconsitutional, whether it be nationality based or otherwise. That is
not to say that the state may not prescribe qualification for its
jurors, it just may not do so with respect to race. [But age, sex, and
education was okay. This is the first exercise of racial protection
under the equal protection clause.]
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
October Term, 1879
[100 U.S. 303]
ERROR to the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State of West Virginia.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.
Mr. Charles Devens and Mr. George O. Davenport for the plaintiff in
Mr. Robert White, Attorney-General of West Virginia, and Mr. James W.
1. The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States considered, and held to be one of a series of constitutional provisions having a common purpose; namely, to secure to a recently emancipatedrace, which had been held in slavery through many generations, all the civil rights that the superior race enjoy, and to give to it the protection of the general government, in the enjoyment of such rights, whenever they should be denied by the States. Whether the amendment hadother, and if so what, purposes, not decided.
2. The amendment not only gave citizenship and the privileges of citizenship to persons of color, but denied to any State the power to withhold from them the equal protection of the laws, and invested Congress with power, by appropriate legislation, to enforce its
3. The amendment, although prohibitory in terms, confers by necessary implication a positive immunity, or right, most valuable to persons of... [continues]
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