The Waite Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy

Front Cover
ABC-CLIO, 2003 - Law - 349 pages

An extensive exploration of the major decisions and personalities of the Supreme Court during the 14-year tenure of Chief Justice Morrison Remick Waite.

The Waite Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy presents a fresh interpretation of the Supreme Court under the tenure of Chief Justice Morrison Remick Waite (1874-1888). An in-depth analysis of key decisions demonstrates how the Waite Court confronted such profound issues as the post-Civil War rights of African Americans and state regulations intended to cope with rampant industrialization.

Highlighting the Court's most famous decision, Munn v. Illinois, which upheld legislation regulating railroad and grain elevator rates, this careful analysis also reviews the Court's unique involvement in the 1876 presidential election electoral predicament. Profiles of the 15 justices who served on the Waite Court include extensive descriptions of the five that rank among the most outstanding justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court.

  • A-Z entries on key people, laws, cases, events, and concepts that were relevant during the Waite Court era, including the growing volume of state economic regulations enacted to cope with industrial expansion and urban growth fueled by the Civil War and by a nationwide rail network for people and goods
  • An appendix including a timeline of important events for the years 1865 through 1890, plus excerpts from other important source materials, such as landmark decisions of the Waite Court

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Part Two Reference Materials
About the Author

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 279 - We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.
Page 264 - That all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theatres, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude.
Page 45 - that the laws of the several States, except where the Constitution, treaties, or statutes of the United States shall otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in trials at common law in the courts of the United States, in cases where they apply.
Page 147 - ... the same right in every State and Territory in the United States to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold and convey real and personal property, and to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains and penalties, and to none other, any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding.
Page 115 - If, therefore, a statute purporting to have been enacted to protect the public health, the public morals, or the public safety, has no real or substantial relation to those objects, or is a palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the duty of the Courts to so adjudge, and thereby give effect to the Constitution.
Page 176 - ... to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which, at once destroys all religious liberty...
Page 74 - No man in this country is so high that he is above the law. No officer of the law may set that law at defiance with impunity. All the officers of the government, from the highest to the lowest, are creatures of the law, and are bound to obey it.
Page 160 - In this connection it is proper to state that civil rights, such as are guaranteed by the Constitution against State aggression, cannot be impaired by the wrongful acts of individuals, unsupported by State authority in the shape of laws, customs, or Judicial or executive proceedings.
Page 147 - States; and such citizens, of every race and color, without regard to any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude...

About the author (2003)

Donald Grier Stephenson, Jr. is Charles A. Dana Professor of Government at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA.

Bibliographic information