Friday, October 25, 2013

Upcoming article draws attention to largely overlooked Supreme Court civil rights decision

In his upcoming article Snubbed Landmar: How United States v. Cruickshank Truncated the Reconsturction Amendments and Racialized Class Politics in America, Professor James Gray Pope argues that traditional narratives about the development of civil rights jurisprudence have failed to account for the precedential case that started it all: United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 546 (1876). According to Pope, the legal academy has created a "tale of progress" largely by ignoring Cruikshank's restriction on the Fourteenth Amendment's mandate to federal actions; its tailoring of the privileges and immunities clause; and, its limitation o the available protection of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to racial minorities. "The results," argues Pope, "have been obfuscation and distortion." In fact, Cruikshank stymied "cross-racial movements" that might have led to a more promising futures. In the end, he urges: "It is long past time for this jurisprudentially inventive, politically pivotal, and socially schismatic case to take its proper place at the heart of the American constitutional narrative and pedagogical canon."

For those interested Supreme Court and civil rights history, this article provides valuable and intruiging insights that are well worth the time.

CRL&P related posts:

14th Amendment, Civil Rights Act, Civil Rights History, Election Law, Equal Protection Clause, Right to Vote | Permalink


I read this article very carefully. It is well written and is of extreme importance to historians, lawyers and especially the law professors out there who profess to know the history of the Supreme Court and the history of civil rights in this country. The time period of Reconstruction after the civil war is distorted. The Supreme Court played a primary role, not some side role, in the Jim Crow era. Constitutional law books need to be shelved in the basement of the school libraries if they do not have Cruikshank included up front and not in some footnote to Plessy.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Oct 29, 2013 10:19:02 AM

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