Plessy vs. Ferguson: A Controversial Case in United States' History

Topics: Plessy v. Ferguson, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Separate but equal Pages: 4 (1268 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Diana Ochoa
Legal Studies 100 midterm 1
Professor Richard Perry
October 1, 2012

Plessy v. Ferguson

Plessy v. Ferguson is one of the most important and controversial cases in United States history. In 1896 the case was brought to the Supreme Court after defendant Homer Plessy was arrested for sitting on the white side of a train. Plessy who was 1/8 black was arrested and convicted of violating one of Louisiana’s racial segregation laws. The Supreme Court upheld that states were allowed to have segregated facilities for blacks and whites as long as they were “separate but equal”. There was not much support in the cases before to support the Plessy v. Ferguson case. There had been the Dred Scott Decision in 1857, which said blacks were not allowed to become citizens of the United States (later on overturned by the 14th and 15th amendment). There was also the case of Pace v. Alabama which allowed Alabama to outlaw interracial sex and marriage. Justice’s decided Plessy’s case did not conflict with the thirteen amendment, although the fourteen amendment which was violated, was decided that seperation of races did not violate the 14th amendment since states had the right to regulate railroad companies that run only in the state, according to the supreme court also stated that Plessy was not being treated as a slave or unequal, and that seperation did not violate 14th or 15th amendments. Since this decision was made and with the influence of past cases that did not support the Plessy v. Ferguson case,a legal culture among citizens and law officials was created in which it was believed that it was okay to have separate facilities. The concept of internal legal culture judges from state and supreme court and lawyers!!!!. internal legal culture, the citizens believed that it was fine if there was segregated schools, churches, restaurants, and other facilities, although the separation was accompanied by unequal treatment.

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