The Supreme Court and Race

Spring, 2019 - jimbolnersr @

 Course Description:  "Analyze the ways that the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted constitutional and statutory provisions relating to race. Examine the Courtís most important decisions dealing with slavery, and the Courtís interpretation of key constitutional and federal legislation in areas such as: civil and voting rights, public accommodations, housing, education, criminal justice, national security, interracial marriage, and affirmative action."


I. Race and racism in the United States
   Demographic facts
   Racial attitudes and their consequences
   Approaches to constitutional and statutory interpretation

II. How the Supreme Court Works
    The court system and Supreme Court Jurisdiction
    Accepting and deciding cases

III. The Original Constitution and Race
      Colonialism and Slavery
      The Three-Fifths "Compromise"
      Article IV and fugitive slaves
      The Dred Scott (1856) decision

IV. The Reconstruction Amendments and Race
      How the amendments were interpreted
      The Slaughterhouse Cases (1873)
      The Civil Rights Cases (1883)
       Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and "Separate but Equal"
       The Corporate Exploitation of the Fourteenth Amendment

V.  The Civil Rights Era
      The NAACP Legal Defense Fund
      Litigation Before Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
      The Court Interprets the civil rights laws of the 1960's

VI.  The Future of the Supreme Court and Race
       The persistence of race in American life

Internet Resources

Dredd Scott v. Sandford (1856)

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada (1938)

Louis Menand, "The Supreme Court Case That Enshrined White Supremacy in Law"   --from The New Yorker, February 4, 2019

James Bolner, Sr. -  Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) 

Charles S. Dameron, "'Separate': Drawing the Color Line" --from The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2019

U.S. Federal Courts 101 --from the

The Supreme Court of the United States - Official website

The Supreme Court of the United States --from the U.S. Government Organization Manual (2018)

The Fedeal Court System in the United States --from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts

The United States Federal Courts --from

U.S. Federal District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana --from

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit --from

Timothy R. Johnson,"  "The Supreme Court Decision Making Process" --from the Oxford Research Encyclopedia (2018)

"Constitutional Topic: Slavery": --from

Oral Arguments Before the Supreme Court - 2018-2019 Term --from

Supreme Court Blog - A first-class source of information about the Court

Supreme Court of the United States --from

Statistics - (Supreme Court Justices' Voting Patterns) --from

Lawfare - A rich repository of crucial commentary and documents ""

Harvard Law Review - Supreme Court Statistics - 2018 Term - More  

Supreme Court Cases on Race

10 Racist U.S. Supreme Court Rulings --from

Shelby County v. Holder (2013)

American Slave Court Cases --from

Slavery and  the Law in Virginia  --from

Ten Important Supreme Court Decisions in Black History --from infoplease.coms

A Brief History of Race and the Supreme Court --from

Anenoma Hartcollis, "50 Years of Affirmative Action: What Went Right, What Went Wrong?" --from The New York Times, March 30, 2019

Margaret Kramer, "A Timeline of Key Supreme Court Cases on Affirmative Action" --from The New York Times, March 30, 2019

Fisher v. University of Texas (2016) --from

Affirmative Action Fast Facts --from CNN

Trump v. Hawaii (2018) --The Court upholds the Muslim travel ban.
Trump v. Hawaii (2018)  --from

Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee
(August, 2018) --from the Congressional Research Service

Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 to 2017: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee,
and the President
(July, 2018) --from the Congressional Research Service

The Supreme Court's Overruling of Constitutional Precedent (September, 2018) --from the
Congressional Research Service

Charles Warren, The Supreme Court in United States History (1922) --from the Internet Archive

   Vol. I - Vol II - Vol. III - A classic history of the Court up to the 1920's

Affirmative Action Fast Facts --from CNN (October 23, 2018)

Google Results for "Supreme Court decisions race" 

Louis Menand, "The Supreme Court Case that Enshrined White Supremacy in Law" --from The New Yorker, February 4, 2019

David Brooks, "The Case for Reparations" --from The New York Times, March 7, 2019

George F. Will, "On Reparations" --from The Washington Post, March 6, 2019

Jason L. Riley, "The Illogic of Racial Reparaations at This Late Date" --from The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2019

Jay Winik, "Do Abolishtionists Owe Reparations" --from The New York Times, March 24, 2019

Ta-Neshi Coates, "The Case for Reparations" --from The Atlantic, June, 2014

James Bolner, Sr. - "Toward a Theory of Racial Reparations" --from Phylon, (1968)

Adam Winkler, "Corporations are People" --from The Atlantic, March 6, 2019

Jesse Wegman, "The Man Who Changed the Constitution, Twice" --from The New York Times, March 14, 2019

Prfesident John F. Kennedy's Speech on Civil Rights, June 11, 1963

Meghan Flynn,  "The U.S. Should Get More Credit for Ending Slavery" --from The Washington Post, March 20, 2019

Robert Kagan, "The Strongmen Strike Back" --from The Washington Post, March 14, 2019

Adam Gropnik, "Why the South Won the Civil War" -- from The New Yorker, April 8, 2019


Elizabeth Goitein, "The Alarming Scope of the President's Embergency Powers" --from The Atlantic, February, 2019

McKee v. Cosby (2019) --Justice Thomas' attach on New York Times v. Sullivan (1964)