GPO-CONAN-2017-10-15.pdf

1657 james v strange 407 us 128 1972 2133 amendment

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1657 James v. Strange, 407 U.S. 128 (1972). 2133 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
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leased defendants, generally those most indigent, was not invalid because the classification was rational and because the measure was in any event a substantial improvement upon the old bail sys- tem. 1658 The Court has applied the clause strictly to prohibit numer- ous de jure and de facto distinctions based on wealth or indigency. 1659 EQUAL PROTECTION AND RACE Overview The Fourteenth Amendment “is one of a series of constitutional provisions having a common purpose; namely, securing to a race re- cently emancipated, a race that through many generations had been held in slavery, all the civil rights that the superior race enjoy. The true spirit and meaning of the amendments . . . cannot be under- stood without keeping in view the history of the times when they were adopted, and the general objects they plainly sought to accom- plish. At the time when they were incorporated into the Constitu- tion, it required little knowledge of human nature to anticipate that those who had long been regarded as an inferior and subject race would, when suddenly raised to the rank of citizenship, be looked upon with jealousy and positive dislike, and that State laws might be enacted or enforced to perpetuate the distinctions that had be- fore existed . . . . [The Fourteenth Amendment] was designed to as- sure to the colored race the enjoyment of all the civil rights that under the law are enjoyed by white persons, and to give to that race the protection of the general government in that enjoyment, whenever it should be denied by the States. It not only gave citizen- ship and the privileges of citizenship to persons of color, but it de- nied to any State the power to withhold from them the equal pro- tection of the laws, and authorized Congress to enforce its provisions by appropriate legislation.” 1660 Thus, a state law that on its face discriminated against African-Americans was void. 1661 In addition, 1658 Schilb v. Kuebel, 404 U.S. 357 (1971). 1659 See “Poverty and Fundamental Interests: The Intersection of Due Process and Equal Protection—Generally,” supra . 1660 Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303, 306–07 (1880). 1661 Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303 (1880) (law limiting jury service to white males). Moreover it will not do to argue that a law that segregates the races or prohibits contacts between them discriminates equally against both races. Buchanan v. Warley, 245 U.S. 60 (1917) (ordinance prohibiting blacks from occupying houses in blocks where whites were predominant and whites from occupying houses in blocks where blacks were predominant). Compare Pace v. Alabama, 106 U.S. 583 (1883) (sustaining conviction under statute that imposed a greater penalty for adultery or fornication between a white person and a Negro than was imposed for similar con- duct by members of the same race, using “equal application” theory), with McLaughlin v. Florida, 379 U.S. 184, 188 (1964), and Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 10 (1967) (rejecting theory).
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