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Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co

Law Dictionary
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill. 392 U.S. 409, 88 S. Ct. 2186, 20 L. Ed. 2d 1189 (1968)

Brief Fact Summary. Petitioner Jones attempted to buy a home in St. Louis County, Missouri, and the Respondent refused to sell the home to Jones, who brought legal action against Respondent on the basis that Respondent had refused to sell to Jones for the sole reason that Jones is black.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Section 1982, which prohibits racial discrimination in all sale and rental or property, is a constitutional exercise of Congressional power in regulating private and public sales of property as a result of the enabling clause of the Thirteenth Amendment.


Facts. Petitioner attempted to purchase a home in the Paddock Woods community of St. Louis County, which the Respondents refused to sell. The Petitioners allege that the sole reason that they were refused the sale is because of Petitioners’ status as an African-American. The Petitioners, relying in part on Section: 1982, sought injunctive and other relief. The District Court ruled in favor of Respondent’s motion to dismiss the case, which was affirmed by the Eighth Circuit. Both courts held that Section: 1982 applied to only to state action and does include private refusals to sell.

Issue.
Whether Section: 1982 prohibits all discrimination in the sale or rental of property, including sale of property by private parties?
Whether Congress has power under the Constitution to do what Section: 1982 purports to do: prohibit all racial discrimination, private and public, in the sale and rental of property?
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