The Transformation of America : As Government Grows Liberty Yields

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What do these terms mean? Do they mean that in all things, civil, social, political, all citizens, without distinction of race or color, shall be equal? By no means can they be so construed. Nor do they mean that all citizens shall sit on juries, or that their children shall attend the same schools. These are not civil rights and immunities. Well, what is the meaning? What are civil rights?

This is the spirit and scope of the bill, and it does not go one step beyond. The same Edition: current; Page: [ 37 ] section goes on to define with great particularity the civil rights and immunities which are to be protected by the bill. Patterson of New Hampshire in a later discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment, for which he voted.

These civil rights all should enjoy. Beyond this I am not prepared to go, and those pretended friends who urge political and social equality. It does not propose to regulate political rights of individuals; it has nothing to do with the right of suffrage, or any other political right. Suffrage , said Senator Jacob M. This bill relates to civil rights only. They left each State to determine the question for itself. Since Corfield v. In passing, Justice Washington stated:. We feel no hesitation in confining these expressions to those privileges and immunities which are, in their nature, fundamental.

Translating President Obama's Inaugural Speech: Methodically Trashing Individual Liberty

They may, however, be all comprehended under the following general heads: Protection by the government, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right to acquire and possess property of every kind and to pursue and obtain happiness and safety. The right of a citizen of one state to pass through, or reside in any other state, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, 42 or otherwise; to claim the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; to institute and maintain actions of any kind in the courts of the state; to take, hold and dispose of property, either real or personal; and an exemption from higher taxes or impositions than are paid by the citizens of the other state; may be mentioned as some of the particular privileges and immunities of citizens, which are clearly embraced by the general description of privileges deemed to be fundamental; to which may be added, the elective franchise, 43 as regulated and established by the laws or constitution of the state in which it is to be exercised.

But we cannot accede to the proposition. In the main, these are the privileges and immunities enumerated in the Civil Rights Bill. From the beginning, admission to suffrage had been the province of the State, as Chief Justice Parker of Massachusetts held at about the same time as Corfield , being preceded by Judge Samuel Chase of Maryland. It remains to notice two earlier cases also cited in the debates. In Campbell v. It is agreed that it does not mean the right of election.

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The court Edition: current; Page: [ 42 ] are of opinion it means. It means, such property shall not be liable to any taxes or burdens which the property of the citizens of the state is not subject to. It secures and protects personal rights. Mark that the emphasis is on freedom from discrimination, on equality with respect to described rights. In , shortly after Corfield , Chief Justice Parker declared on behalf of the highest court of Massachusetts, in Abbott v.

That, however, is not the neoabolitionist reading of the history. Citing the dictum in Corfield v.

His fellows even more clearly viewed the enumerated rights as restrictive. They were the rights to life, liberty, and property. They were the rights to contract, and to own, use and dispose of property.

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The Graham—tenBroek—Kelly writings have muddied analysis; they are not true to the historical facts. An argument to the contrary, it may be stated categorically, will find no solid ground in the debates of the 39th Congress. We may put to one side Corfield v. Despite repeated assurances that the Civil Rights Bill was limited to the specifically enumerated rights, Bingham protested vehemently:. That is likewise the fate of other striking evidence.

Translating President Obama's Inaugural Speech: Methodically Trashing Individual Liberty

On January 20, , Bingham submitted a Report of the House Committee on the Judiciary, from which he did not dissent, reciting that the privileges or immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment, it is believed, did not add to the privileges and immunities before mentioned. The Supreme Court likewise declared that the phrase did not add to the privileges or immunities provided by Article IV.

To dispose of activist caviling, herewith some additional evidence. The modern rights extracted from the Civil Rights Act of are at a long remove from those envisioned by its framers. Some additional evidence will make that plain. It merely provides safeguards to shield them from wrong and outrage and to protect them in the enjoyment of the right to exist. The right to hold land.

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Indeed, two leading activist theoreticians admit as much. Reservations are not grants of power to deal with what is retained. Put differently, what is retained is excluded from the federal jurisdiction. The cheerleader of the cornucopian movement is Randy Barnett.

Consequently, the provision has become the all-but-forgotten clause of the Constitution. For the Negro did not become a migrant by emancipation; generally speaking, he remained in the same State. Early on, James A. We must make American citizenship the shield that protects every citizen, on every foot of our soil.

When these rights which are enumerated in this bill are denied to any class of men on account of race or color, when they are subject to a system of vagrant laws which sells them into slavery or involuntary servitude, which operates upon them as upon no other part of the community, they are not secured in the rights of freedom.

In the Senate, Trumbull stated that Corfield v. Did these views, expressed in connection with the Civil Rights Bill, carry over into the Fourteenth Amendment?


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Here there is more than the intention to constitutionalize the Civil Rights Act. Frederick E. In the process of hammering out the Amendment, the framers had lost sight of the definition of citizenship contained in the Civil Rights Bill, so it was late in the day when Senator Benjamin F. Although the Negro had been emancipated, the Dred Scott decision threw a shadow over his citizenship; 29 the matter had been a source of interminable argument. Against the manifest purpose of the framers, of which Justice Miller was well aware, 33 his reliance on a rule of construction—to express at one point is to exclude at another—should carry little weight.

The cardinal purpose of interpretation, it cannot too often be emphasized, is to ascertain and effectuate, not defeat, the intention of the framers. Once that purpose is ascertained, it may not be thwarted by a rule of construction. The notion that by conferring dual citizenship the framers were separating said rights of a citizen of the United States from those of a State citizen not only is without historical warrant but actually does violence to their intention.

It was precisely their abuse of the freedmen that led to the Amendment. Congress was authorized to enforce it by suitable legislation.

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In the first section of the Civil Rights Act Congress has given its interpretation of these terms [which]. The problem.

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This was only half the story. No area of Negro rights considered by the 39th Congress was so extensively discussed as Negro suffrage. The intention to exclude suffrage from the Amendment as well 5 need not rest entirely on its incorporation of the Civil Rights Act, for there is ample affirmative evidence of that purpose.

Chief Justice Warren held in Reynolds v. Mitchell ; 11 both of his dissents are models of scholarly exactitude. Having combed the debates for myself, I can confirm his accuracy and scrupulousness in drawing inferences from the facts; one can only complain that he left so few gleanings for those who came after. Since his discussion in the two opinions covers many pages, and since it is contained in law reports that only scholarly specialists are likely to consult, I have undertaken to compress the materials into smaller compass, particularly because they furnish the springboard for much that is to follow.

Garfield and James M.