Plessy V. Ferguson

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1. What are the important and relevant faces of the case? 2. What issues is the court addressing? What is the legal problem? 3. What law is the court applying? 4. What is the court’s decision, analysis, and rationale? For this week, you need to find a case that deals with Due Process, the Equal Protection Clause or Delegation. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) What are the important and relevant faces of the case? The Case is based upon The Equal Protection Clause, in which, this case occurred one hundred and nineteen years ago, but it was very interesting as to see what has changed during the century. In 1890, Louisiana State passed laws prohibited races to sit together on railroads; something in common with segregation in the…show more content…
Reflecting the common bias of the majority of the country at the time, Brown argued that “If the civil and political rights of both races be equal, one cannot be inferior to the other civilly or politically. If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane.” The Court declared the Louisiana law a reasonable exercise of the State's “police power,” enacted for the promotion of the public good. In the key passage of the opinion, the Court stated that segregation was legal and constitutional as long as “facilities were equal.” Thus the “separate but equal doctrine” that would keep America divided along racial lines for over half a century longer came into being. Somewhat ironically, while Brown, a Northerner, justified the segregation of the races, Justice John Marshall Harlan, a Southerner from Kentucky, made a lone, resounding, and prophetic dissent. “The Thirteenth Amendment…struck down the institution of slavery [and]…decreed universal civil freedom,” Harlan declared. “Our Constitution is color-blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” Harlan's dissent became the main theme of the unanimous decision of the Court in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. No great national protest followed in the wake of the Plessy decision. Segregation was an

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