The Constitution and Civil Rights

By Milton R. Konvitz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
Statutes Compelling or Allowing
Segregation or Discrimination
AS WE HAVE SEEN, by the decision in the Civil Rights Cases, the Fourteenth Amendment gives no protection against discrimination by private persons; nor does it require states to prevent such discrimination. The matter of civil rights is left to the states. The states may act to prohibit discriminations; or they may take no action at all, in which case the owner of a place of public accommodation may do as he pleases; or they may act to compel discriminations. The only limitation, applicable in the latter instance, is that if the state compels segregation, provision must be made for equal facilities for the Negro. In brief, from the standpoint of the Constitution the situation is as follows:
i. States may prohibit discrimination. This has been done, in varying degree, by eighteen states.
2. States may compel discrimination (or segregation, which is not discrimination according to the United States Supreme Court). This has been done, in varying degree, by twenty states.
3. States may leave the matter to private discretion. This apparently has been done by ten states.

Here we propose to indicate the scope of the practice of segregration, constituting the fruit of the decision in the Civil Rights Cases.

Schools: In the following states segregation of pupils is mandatory or expressly permissive (though there are various shadings in the requirements) : Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia. Dela

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