Slavery was 'politically' abolished during the Civil War in 1863 by the 'Emancipation Proclamation' of President Lincoln, who used his formal powers in order to deprave the south of its first source of income. This was rather a pragmatic declaration than a real political decision. Slavery was then 'constitutionally' abolished by the 13th Amendment of 1865. Finally, the 14th and15th Amendments of 1868 and 1870 respectively established citizenship on 'jus solis', and no more limited franchise to White people. Nevertheless, the Democrats who were in favor of slavery and White supremacy, restricted the blacks rights in the South, advocating racial and legal distinctions and separation between the Blacks and the Whites.
[...] The Supreme Court of 1896 took the precedent into account by making much of states rights, saying on line 13-14 recognized as within the competency of the state legislatures in the exercise of their police power The Slaughter House Cases Supreme Court decision of 1873 consists in an interpretation of the 14th amendment. The Court ruled that when states limit civil rights, it refused to pronounce itself on it. The Supreme Court of 1896 also took this precedent into account, saying on line 22-23 as a conflict with the 14th amendment is concerned, the case reduces itself to the question whether the statute of Louisiana is a reasonable regulation Considering these two precedent, the Supreme Court did not want to give a ruling that could have looked as a total change in its policy and in the same way a complete change for the public opinion. [...]
[...] Plessy was not depraved from such legal protection by the Louisiana act, he was only asked to sit in a different coach than where whites seat. The Supreme Court rules that if Mr. Plessy considers that such separation is an infringement to the 14th amendment because it creates a racial distinction, he is wrong. The 14th amendment does not forbid racial and social distinctions, as once again it only meant to enforce the absolute equality of the races before the law but on the other hand it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon colour as the Supreme Court says so on line 8-9. [...]
[...] All in all the Supreme Court presents segregation as a useful custom which will eventually lead the blacks to work hard in order to win a deserved place in the society. The limits of the decision and its consequences in term of judicial practice A. A verdict which institutionalizes an already existing practice Indeed, laws “permitting or even requiring” l.11separation is “universally recognized” l.13 in society, it is a real social fact. For instance, “separate schools” l.15 for Whites and Blacks do exist. [...]
[...] Each court upheld each other in the procedure system of the case. So it is a real process of institutionalizing “racial segregation”. The phrase and doctrine separate but equal has no real meaning. Nevertheless, it resumes well the fact that the decision's legal basis are irrelevant, which leads to a meaningless doctrine and decision. Food for thought The Supreme Court only institutionalizes racial segregation in declaring this social practice as convenient with the Constitution, and its 13th and 14th Amendments. [...]
[...] So legislation is powerless to “eradicate racial instincts” l.53. It would be worst if so. All these arguments and legal basis make the decision a racist one. There is a last very interesting distinction between “civil, political and social” equality l.55-58. As the first two are under the Constitution's protection, the last one is not. So, social equality remains in the states powers to manage. All what deals with social matters is the people's thing, and is under the sates control and power. [...]
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