Brief Fact Summary. Several individuals of color were denied admission to theaters, cabs, cars, and inns based on their race. These individuals claimed that this violates their under a federal law passed in 1875 that entitles all individuals in the United States the right to equal treatment in places of public accommodation and the quasi-public facilities of this country. These individuals won their lawsuits under this act, and the Defendants appeal claiming that this act is an unconstitutional use of Congressional power as provided in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendment.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The law guaranteeing all persons equal entitlement to the quasi-public facilities within the country was an unconstitutional use of power by Congress under the grant provided by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Issue. Is the refusal to any persons of the accommodations of an inn, or a public conveyance, or a place of public amusement, by an individual and without any sanction or support from any state law or regulation, an infliction upon such persons any manner of servitude, or form of slavery, as those terms are understood in this country?
Held. No. Such an act of refusal has nothing to do with slavery or involuntary servitude, and that if it violates any right; the proper redress is under the laws of the state.
If these laws are adverse to his rights, and do not properly protect him, his remedy will be found in the corrective legislation which congress has adopted or may adopt for counteracting the effect of state laws, or state action, prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment.
It would be running the slavery argument into the ground to make it apply to every act of discrimination, which a person may see it fit to make as to the guests he will entertain, or as to the people he will take in his coach or cab, or admit to his concert.
If the laws make unjust discriminations according to the Fourteenth Amendment is it up to Congress to provide an adequate remedy. There is a point at which a former slave becomes a normal citizen and ceases to be a special favorite of the laws. In conclusion the Court finds that there is no ground of authority in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, and therefore invalidates the rule in question in this case.
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