Download PDF by Charles A. Lofgren: The Plessy Case: A Legal-Historical Interpretation
By Charles A. Lofgren
In 1896 the U.S. superb courtroom case Plessy v. Ferguson upheld "equal yet separate lodgings for the white and coloured races" on all passenger railways in the kingdom of Louisiana. during this account with implications for present-day the USA, Lofgren strains the roots of this landmark case within the post-Civil battle South and pinpoints its moorings within the era's constitutional, felony, and highbrow doctrines. After reviewing de facto racial separation and the shift via southern states to legislated transportation segregation, he exhibits that the Fourteenth modification turned a prepared car for legitimating class by means of race. whilst, scientists and social scientists have been proclaiming black racial inferiority and decrease courts have been embracing separate-but-equal in traditional legislation matches. inside this context, a gaggle of recent Orleans blacks introduced a judicial problem to Louisiana's 1890 Separate motor vehicle legislation and carried the case to the ultimate court docket, the place the ensuing reviews via Justices Henry Billings Brown and John Marshall Harlan pitted criminal doctrines and "expert" opinion approximately race opposed to the assumption of a color-blind structure. all through his account, Lofgren probes the highbrow premises that formed this crucial episode within the background of legislations and race in America--an episode that also increases troubling questions on racial type and citizenship--revealing its dynamics and position within the continuum of felony swap.
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Additional resources for The Plessy Case: A Legal-Historical Interpretation
The 1875 law had given operators of public facilities the same right as any private party to discriminate among persons to be carried, admitted, or entertained. Adopted to subvert the federal Civil Rights Act of 1875, which could be interpreted as banning discrimination in facilities that had common-law duties to serve the public, Tennessee's 1875 Saw in effect legalized the practice of charging blacks first-class railway fares but assigning them to inferior coaches. Then, after a Democratic split within the state led to the election of a Republican governor and a Republican-organized state house of representatives, the four black members of the house, who were all Republicans, sought repeal of the state's 1875 legislation.
Tourgee apparently agreed. Having previously explored the interstate approach with Martinet, he approved it in his initial reply to Walker, on January 14. At one point, it is true, he questioned if the federal Supreme Court would read its own decisions as permitting an argument on commerce grounds, but his letter was diffuse, which he himself confessed after pleading he had been ill for a month and was blocked from his office and law books by six feet of snow. " He accepted Walker's suggestion that the complaint sworn out against their client should recite that he held a ticket for out-of-state.
In 1881, it became the first to move toward legislatively mandated transportation segregation based ostensibly on the De Facto to De Jure 21 equal-but-separate principle. The catalyst was a measure passed six years earlier that had abrogated the common-law duty of common carriers, hotels, and places of amusement to serve anyone who is willing and able to pay and is otherwise presentable in appearance and demeanor. The 1875 law had given operators of public facilities the same right as any private party to discriminate among persons to be carried, admitted, or entertained.
The Plessy Case: A Legal-Historical Interpretation by Charles A. Lofgren