The Politics of Judicial Interpretation: The Federal Courts, Department of Justice, and Civil Rights, 1866-1876

By Robert J. Kaczorowski | Go to book overview

9 The Reinstitution
of Decentralized
Constitutionalism: The
Supreme Court and Civil
Rights, 1876

In 1876 the United States Supreme Court finally consented to resolve the decade-long judicial struggle over the scope of national civil rights enforcement authority. In retrospect, the Supreme Court's interpretations of the Reconstruction Amendments as guarantees of the civil rights of black Americans appear to have been predetermined by its 1873 Slaughter-House decision and Justice Bradley's 1874 opinion in Cruikshank. Both counsels' arguments and the Court's 1876 decisions were predicated upon the legal assumptions of these opinions. While hindsight is almost always clearer than foresight, the states' rights emphasis of most federal court civil rights decisions after 1873 combined with the Grant administration's cessation of civil rights enforcement must have suggested to contemporaries the probable outcome of the Supreme Court's deliberations.

However predictable the outcome, the need to resolve the constitutional questions surrounding the congressional civil rights program prompted proponents as well as opponents to seek a quick resolution in the Supreme Court. The Court's interpretation of the Reconstruction Amendments as they applied to black Americans would affect national policies. An adverse ruling could diminish the constitutional authority that permitted the Department of Justice and the federal courts to intervene in Southern affairs. The elimination of that authority held grave implications for the department's political fortunes and the subsequent nature of race relations. Defense counsel desired an early hearing because of the uncertain fate of their clients and their rising expectations of a favorable decision. United States attorneys urged the attorney general to advance civil rights cases on the Supreme Court's docket despite their pessimism about achieving a favorable decision. The Supreme Court yielded to the litigants' entreaties and accelerated the process by which the cases involving these issues were heard.1

The Court's determination of the authority of the federal government to enforce voting rights became entwined with its authority to enforce civil rights. Terrorist assaults on Southern blacks and white Republicans usually occurred

-161-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Politics of Judicial Interpretation: The Federal Courts, Department of Justice, and Civil Rights, 1866-1876
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 246

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.