- The law passed by Congress that was at the heart of this Supreme Court case was the 1875 Civil Rights Act. Explain the law using your own words.
- What was the difference between corrective legislation and general legislation? Why did the Supreme Court feel the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was general and not corrective legislation?
- What question did the Supreme Court ask itself when it interpreted the 13th Amendment? How did it answer that question?
- At the time of this decision slavery had been abolished throughout the United States for 18 years. What did the comments made by the Supreme Court beginning with, "When a man has emerged from slavery…" reveal about its view of former slaves?
- Overall, how would the Supreme Court's interpretation of the 13th and 14th Amendments have impacted race relations and the civil rights of African Americans?
Bradley, Joseph P., "U.S. Reports: Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883)," 1883. Courtesy of Library of Congress