• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court upheld a Mississippi law mandating separate but equal accommodations on a railroad, despite its effect on interstate commerce.

By a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court upheld a Mississippi statute requiring railroads to provide “equal, but separate accommodations” for African AmericansAfrican Americans;public accommodations[public accommodations] and whites. The Louisville, New Orleans, and Texas Railway Company found this expensive and alleged the statute interfered with interstate commerce, but Justice David J. Brewer,Brewer, David J.;Louisville, New Orleans, and Texas Railway Co. v. Mississippi[Louisville, New Orleans, and Texas Railway Co. v. Mississippi] who wrote the majority opinion, could see nothing wrong with requiring a railroad to add a car every time it crossed over into Mississippi. Brewer, as typical of the Court in that age, did not even comment on Mississippi’s position that this law affected only intrastate commerce. Justice John Marshall Harlan dissented, maintaining that the state was interfering with the federal government’s right to regulate commerce.Commerce clause;Louisville, New Orleans, and Texas Railway Co. v. Mississippi[Louisville, New Orleans, and Texas Railway Co. v. Mississippi]Separate but equal doctrine;Louisville, New Orleans, and Texas Railway Co. v. Mississippi[Louisville, New Orleans, and Texas Railway Co. v. Mississippi]

Commerce, regulation of

Race and discrimination

Separate but equal doctrine

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