Jim Crow: The Supreme Court’s Fault?

The Takeaway

Immediately after the end of the Civil War, Congress drafted and pushed to ratify the 14th  and 15th amendments to the Constitution, which were intended to guarantee African-Americans full equality under the law.  But despite these amendments, Jim Crow laws quickly took hold of much of the nation, stripping African-Americans of such basic rights as serving on juries and voting without the penalty of a poll tax.  What went wrong? Legal historian  Lawrence Goldstone  has a theory. As he sees it, the very individuals believed to have been looking out for the Civil Rights of all –  the sitting justices of the Supreme Court — were instrumental in stripping African Americans of equal rights.  
Lawrence is the author of a new book called “Inherently Unequal: The Betrayal of Equal Rights by the Supreme Court, 1865-1903.” He joins us from Connecticut.

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