Brief Fact Summary. Owners of theatres and hotels were prosecuted for discriminating against African Americans.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution), Congress does not have the power to pass laws prohibiting discrimination by private citizens.
Issue. Does the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution (Constitution) prohibit discrimination by private citizens?
Held. No, the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution can only prohibit state action, not action by individual citizens. Although the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution, by prohibiting slaveholding, does regulate private citizens, racial segregation is not a “badge of slavery” sufficient to bring the Thirteenth Amendment into operation.
Personal liberty consists in some express locomotion, of changing situation, or moving one's person to whatever place one's inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law.View Full Point of Law