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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Civil Rights Mass-Meeting held at Lincoln Hall, October 22, 1883. Speeches of Hon. Frederick Douglass and Robert G. Ingersoll.
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of Congress, then I ask, if the 14th Amendment made certain persons citizens of the United States, did such citizenship become a constitutional right? And is such citizenship within the protecting power of Congress? Does citizenship mean anything except certain "rights, privileges and immunities?"
Is it not an invasion of citizenship to invade the immunities or privileges or rights belonging to a citizen? Are not, then, all the immunities and privileges and rights under the protecting power of Congress? Does citizenship mean anything except certain "rights, privileges and immunities?"
Is it not an invasion of citizenship to invade the immunities or privileges or rights belonging to a citizen? Are not, then, all the immunities and privileges and rights under the protecting power of Congress?
The 13th Amendment found the negro a slave, and made him a free man. That gave to him a new constitutional right, and according to the Supreme Court, that right is within the protecting power of Congress.
What rights are within the protecting power of Congress? All the rights belonging to a free man.
The 14th Amendment made the negro a citizen. What then is under the protecting power of Congress? All the right, privileges and immunities belonging to him as a citizen.
So, in the case of Tennessee vs. Davis, 100 U.S., 263, the Supreme Court held, that: "The United States is a government whose authority conferred upon it by the Constitution, or withhold from it for a moment the cognizance of any subject which the Constitution has committed to it."
This opinion was given by Justice Strong, and acquiesced in by Chief-Justice Waite, Justices Miller, Swayne, Bradley and Harlan.
So in the case of Pensacola Tel. Co. vs. Western Union Tel. Co., 96 U.S., p.10, the opinion having been delivered by Chief-Justice Waite, I find this: "The Government of the United States, within the scope of its power, operates upon every foot of territory under its jurisdiction. It legislates for the whole Nation, and is not embarrassed by State lines."
This was acquiesced in by Justices Clifford, Strong, Bradley, Swayne and Miller.
So we are told by the entire Supreme Court, in the case of Tiernan vs. Ranker, 102 U.S., 126, that: "When the subject to which the power applies is national in its character, or of such a nature as to admit of uniformity of regulation, the power is exclusive of State authority."
Surely, the question of citizenship is "national in its character." Surely, the question as to what are the rights, privileges
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