The Supreme Court, the Slaughter-House Cases, and the Retreat from Reconstruction
From Jeff Layne
University of Maryland
In this lecture, Dr. Michael Ross tackles a long-standing debate of whether the U.S. Supreme Court intentionally undermined African-Americans’ rights during Reconstruction. The “Slaughter-House Cases” marked the first time the Supreme Court heard cases testing the language of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; the amendment prohibits states to “make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…” Dr. Ross’ lecture is based on “Justice of Shattered Dreams,” his prize-winning biography of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Freeman Miller, who wrote the majority opinion in the Slaughter-House Cases decision. Dr. Ross’ appearance serves as the CSU, Chico History Department’s annual Joanna Dunlap Cowden Memorial Lecture.
Recorded: October 4, 2012