U.S. Senator from Michigan Jacob M. Howard, author of the Citizenship Clause
Joseph P. Bradley authored the opinion of the court.
United States President John F. Kennedy addresses the nation on civil rights on June 11, 1963
Rep. John Bingham of Ohio was the principal author of the Equal Protection Clause
John Marshall Harlan, became known as the "Great Dissenter" for his fiery dissent in Civil Rights Cases and other early civil rights cases.
Following the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, civil rights leaders met with President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson to discuss civil rights legislation.
Thurgood Marshall served as chief counsel in the landmark Fourteenth Amendment decision Brown v. Board of Education (1954).
First page of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Senate and House votes on the Fourteenth Amendment
Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X at the United States Capitol on March 26, 1964, listening to the Senate debate on the bill. This was the only time the two men ever met; their meeting lasted only one minute.
Form of the Letter of Transmittal of the Fourteenth Amendment to the several states for its ratification
United States President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Among the guests behind him is Martin Luther King Jr.
A map showing the each Senator's Vote on the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The record of the roll call vote kept by the House Clerk on final passage of the bill
Engrossing copy of H.R. 7152, which added sex to the categories of persons against whom the bill prohibited discrimination, as passed by the House of Representatives
United States President Lyndon B. Johnson speaks to a television camera at the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964
A map showing the each Senator's Vote on the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883), were a group of five landmark cases in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments did not empower Congress to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals.

- Civil Rights Cases

Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment, and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment.

- Civil Rights Act of 1964

In the 1883 landmark Civil Rights Cases, the United States Supreme Court had ruled that Congress did not have the power to prohibit discrimination in the private sector, thus stripping the Civil Rights Act of 1875 of much of its ability to protect civil rights.

- Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Supreme Court held in Civil Rights Cases (1883) that the amendment was limited to "state action" and, therefore, did not authorize the Congress to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals or organizations.

- Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

However, Congress can sometimes reach such discrimination via other parts of the Constitution such as the Commerce Clause which Congress used to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- the Supreme Court upheld this approach in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964).

- Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 generally revived the ban on discrimination in public accommodations that was in the Civil Rights Act of 1875, but under the Commerce Clause of Article I instead of the 14th Amendment; the Court held Title II to be constitutional in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States,.

- Civil Rights Cases
U.S. Senator from Michigan Jacob M. Howard, author of the Citizenship Clause

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The ruins of Richmond, Virginia, the former Confederate capital, after the American Civil War; newly-freed African Americans voting for the first time in 1867; office of the Freedmen's Bureau in Memphis, Tennessee; Memphis riots of 1866

Reconstruction era

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Period in American history following the American Civil War ; it lasted from 1865 to 1877 and marked a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States.

Period in American history following the American Civil War ; it lasted from 1865 to 1877 and marked a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States.

The ruins of Richmond, Virginia, the former Confederate capital, after the American Civil War; newly-freed African Americans voting for the first time in 1867; office of the Freedmen's Bureau in Memphis, Tennessee; Memphis riots of 1866
The Southern economy had been ruined by the war. Charleston, South Carolina: Broad Street, 1865
The distribution of wealth per capita in 1872, illustrating the disparity between North and South in that period
A political cartoon of Andrew Johnson and Abraham Lincoln, 1865, entitled "The Rail Splitter At Work Repairing the Union". The caption reads (Johnson): "Take it quietly Uncle Abe and I will draw it closer than ever." (Lincoln): "A few more stitches Andy and the good old Union will be mended."
Monument in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic, organized after the war
Freedmen voting in New Orleans, 1867
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (1861–1865)
Celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation in Massachusetts, 1862
Northern teachers traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population.
Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States (1865–1869)
An October 24th, 1874 Harper's Magazine editorial cartoon by Thomas Nast denouncing KKK and White League murders of innocent Blacks
The debate over Reconstruction and the Freedmen's Bureau was nationwide. This 1866 Pennsylvania election poster alleged that the bureau kept the Negro in idleness at the expense of the hardworking white taxpayer. A racist caricature of an African American is depicted.
1868 Republican cartoon identifies Democratic candidates Seymour and Blair (right) with KKK violence and with Confederate soldiers (left).
"This is a white man's government", Thomas Nast's caricature of the forces arraigned against Grant and Reconstruction in the 1868 election. Atop a black Union veteran reaching for a ballot box: the New York City Irish; Confederate and Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest; and big-money Democratic Party chairman August Belmont, a burning freedmen's school in the background. Harper's Weekly, September 5, 1868.
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States (1869–1877)
Grant's Attorney General Amos T. Akerman prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan, believing that the strong arm of the federal Justice Department could pacify the South.
Eastman Johnson's 1863 painting The Lord is My Shepherd, of a man reading the Bible
Atlanta's rail yard and roundhouse in ruins shortly after the end of the Civil War
$20 banknote with portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch
Winslow Homer's 1876 painting A Visit from the Old Mistress
A Republican Form of Government and No Domestic Violence, by Thomas Nast, a political cartoon about the Wheeler Compromise in Louisiana, published in Harper's Weekly, March 6, 1875
White Leaguers attacking the New Orleans integrated police force and state militia, Battle of Liberty Place, 1874
Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States (1877–1881)
A poster for the 1939 epic film Gone with the Wind, which is set during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras
Map of the five Reconstruction military districts
First Military District
Second Military District
Third Military District
Fourth Military District
Fifth Military District

It proclaimed the newly freed slaves (freedmen; black people) citizens with (ostensibly) the same civil rights as those of whites; these rights were nominally guaranteed by three new constitutional amendments: the 13th, 14th, and 15th, collectively known as the Reconstruction Amendments.

Civil Rights Cases (1883)

The later enforceable Civil Rights Act of 1964 borrowed many of the earlier 1875's law's provisions.