The Plessy Case; A Legal-Historical Interpretation / Edition 1

The Plessy Case; A Legal-Historical Interpretation / Edition 1

by Charles A. Lofgren
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195056841

ISBN-13: 9780195056846

Pub. Date: 09/28/1988

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

In 1896 the U.S. Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson upheld "equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races" on all passenger railways within the state of Louisiana. In this account with implications for present-day America, Lofgren traces the roots of this landmark case in the post-Civil War South and pinpoints its moorings in the

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Overview

In 1896 the U.S. Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson upheld "equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races" on all passenger railways within the state of Louisiana. In this account with implications for present-day America, Lofgren traces the roots of this landmark case in the post-Civil War South and pinpoints its moorings in the era's constitutional, legal, and intellectual doctrines. After reviewing de facto racial separation and the shift by southern states to legislated transportation segregation, he shows that the Fourteenth Amendment became a ready vehicle for legitimating classification by race. At the same time, scientists and social scientists were proclaiming black racial inferiority and lower courts were embracing separate-but-equal in ordinary law suits. Within this context, a group of New Orleans blacks launched a judicial challenge to Louisiana's 1890 Separate Car Law and carried the case to the Supreme Court, where the resulting opinions by Justices Henry Billings Brown and John Marshall Harlan pitted legal doctrines and "expert" opinion about race against the idea of a color-blind Constitution. Throughout his account, Lofgren probes the intellectual premises that shaped this important episode in the history of law and race in America—an episode that still raises troubling questions about racial classification and citizenship—revealing its dynamics and place in the continuum of legal change.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195056846
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/28/1988
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.58(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction "The Plessy Prison"3
Chapter 1De Facto to De Jure: Transportation Segregation in the South from the Civil War to the 1890s7
Chapter 2Plessy in Louisiana: The Test Cases28
Chapter 3Plessy in Louisiana: The Constitutional Clash44
Chapter 4The Constitutional Environment: Lost Origins and Judicial Deference61
Chapter 5The Intellectual Environment: Racist Thought in the Late Nineteenth Century93
Chapter 6The Transportation Law Environment: Access by Leave, Not Right116
Chapter 7Plessy Before the United States Supreme Court148
Chapter 8The Court Decides: Jim Crow Affirmed174
Chapter 9Speaking to the Future196
Notes209
Table of Cases255
Index261

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