Justice John Marshall Harlan

Justice John Marshall Harlan - Preview Image

Justice John Marshall Harlan (1833-1911) dissented from the majority in the case of Plessy v Ferguson.  Some of his most memorable words, from that dissent, are:

What can more certainly arouse race hate, what more certainly create and perpetuate a feeling of distrust between these races, than state enactments, which, in fact, proceed on the ground that colored citizens are so inferior and degraded that they cannot be allowed to sit in public coaches occupied by white citizens? That, as all will admit, is the real meaning of such legislation.

Credits

Image, courtesy U.S. National Archives

Quoted passage, from Plessy v Ferguson dissent by Justice Harlan

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