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Plessy v. Ferguson

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 163 U.S.537, 16 S. Ct. 1138, 41 L. Ed. 256, 1896 U.S. 3390.

Brief Fact Summary. A Louisiana statute required railroad companies to provide separate, but equal accommodations for its Black and White passengers. The Plaintiff, Plessy (Plaintiff), was prosecuted under the statute after he refused to leave the section of a train reserved for whites.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A law, which authorizes or requires the separation of the two races on public conveyances, is consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution) unless the law is unreasonable.


Facts. A Louisiana statute required railroad companies to provide separate, but equal accommodations for its Black and White passengers. An exception was made for nurses attending to the children of the other race. Plaintiff, who was seven-eighths white, was prosecuted under the statute after he refused to leave the section of a train reserved for whites. The alleged purpose of the statute was to preserve public peace and good order and to promote the comfort of the people.

Issue. Was the statute requiring separate, but equal accommodations on railroad transportation consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution?

Content Type: Brief


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