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Plessy_v._Ferguson - Plessyv.Ferguson(FullText May18,1896...

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Plessy v. Ferguson  (Full Text) May 18, 1896  PLESSY v. FERGUSON (Full Text) 163 U.S. 537 (1896) Henry Billings Brown (Opinion of the Court) and John Marshall Harlan (Dissent) May 18, 1896. This was a petition for writs of prohibition and certiorari originally filed in the  supreme court of the state by Plessy, the plaintiff in error, against the Hon. John H. Ferguson,  judge of the criminal district court for the parish of Orleans, and setting forth, in substance, the  following facts:  That petitioner was a citizen of the United States and a resident of the state of Louisiana, of mixed  descent, in the proportion of seven-eighths Caucasian and one-eighth African blood; that the  mixture of colored blood was not discernible in him, and that he was entitled to every recognition,  right, privilege, and immunity secured to the citizens of the United States of the white race by its  constitution and laws; that on June 7, 1892, he engaged and paid for a first-class passage on the  East Louisiana Railway, from New Orleans to Covington, in the same state, and thereupon  entered a passenger train, and took possession of a vacant seat in a coach where passengers of  the white race were accommodated; that such railroad company was incorporated by the laws of  Louisiana as a common carrier, and was not authorized to distinguish between citizens according  to their race, but, notwithstanding this, petitioner was required by the conductor, under penalty of  ejection from said train and imprisonment, to vacate said coach, and occupy another seat, in a  coach assigned by said company for persons not of the white race, and for no other reason than  that petitioner was of the colored race; that, upon petitioner's refusal to comply with such order, he  was, with the aid of a police officer, forcibly ejected from said coach, and hurried off to, and  imprisoned in, the parish jail of New Orleans, and there held to answer a charge made by such  officer to the effect that he was guilty of having criminally violated an act of the general assembly  of the state, approved July 10, 1890, in such case made and provided.  The petitioner was subsequently brought before the recorder of the city for preliminary  examination, and committed for trial to the criminal district court for the parish of Orleans, where  an information was filed against him in the matter above set forth, for a violation of the above act,  which act the petitioner affirmed to be null and void, because in conflict with the constitution of the 
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