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Proceedings of the Civil Rights Mass-Meeting held at Lincoln Hall, October 22, 1883. Speeches of Hon. Frederick Douglass and Robert G. Ingersoll.

1883DC-National-Washington_Proceedings (19).pdf

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But I shall speak of the decision as I feel, and in the same manner as I should speak even in the presence of the Court. You must remember that I am not attacking persons, but opinions-not motives, but reason- not judges, but decisions.

The Supreme Court has decided:

1. That the first and second sections of the Civil Rights Act of March 1, 1875, are unconstitutional, as applied to the States -not being authorized by the 13th and 14th Amendments.

2.That the 14th Amendment is prohibitory upon the States only, and the legislation forbidden to be adopted by Congress for enforcing it, is not "direct" legislation, but "corrective,"- such as may be necessary or proper for counteracting and restraining the effect of laws or acts passed or done by the several States.

3. That the 13th Amendment relates only to slavery and involuntary servitude, which is abolishes.

4. That the 13th Amendment establishes universal freedom in the United States.

5. That Congress may probably pass laws directly enforcing its provisions.

6. That such legislative power in Congress extends only to the subject of slavery, and its incidents.

7. That the denial of equal accommodations in inns, public conveyances and places of public amusement, imposes no badge of slavery or involuntary servitude upon the party, but at most infringes rights which are protected from State aggression by the 14th Amendment.

8. The court is uncertain whether the accommodations and privileges sought to be protected by the first and second sections of the Civil Rights Act are or are not rights constitutionally demandable,-and if they are, in what form they are to be protected.

9.Neither does the Court decide whether the law, as it stands, is operative in the Territories and the District of Columbia.

10. Neither does the Court decide whether Congress, under the commercial power, may or may not pass a law securing to all persons equal accommodations on lines of public conveyance between two or more States.

11. The court also holds, in the present case, that until some State law has been passed, or some State action through its officers or agents has been taken adverse to the rights of citizens sought to be protected by the 14th Amendment, no legislation of the United States under said amendment, nor any proceeding under

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