June 17, 2009
By Anonymous

Homer Plessy v. John Ferguson

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The purpose of the 10, 13, and 14th amendments to the Constitution were about ending slavery and making every person know matter what color will always be equal and that racism will end. "The object of the [Fourteenth] Amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but in the nature of things it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political, equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory to either." -From Justice Henry brown, speaking for the majority.( The Tenth Amendment was intended to confirm the understanding of the people at the time the Constitution was adopted, that powers not granted to the United States were reserved to the States or to the people. Without the 13th and 14th Amendments, African Americans would not have any freedom, rights, or privileges. The 13th amendment abolished slavery and the 14th makes everyone a citizen of the United States with certain rights. If the amendments were not ratified when they were, African Americans would probably be set back even more than we already are. Without these two amendments, minorities in America would not be have open jobs opportunities, would not be able to attend certain schools, or even be treated fairly in public.

This case was about Plessy v. Ferguson because homer Plessy didn’t follow the “Separate Car Act”. Homer Plessy was a 30 year old man who was one eight black and could be considered a white man. But homer Plessy deliberately bought a ticket for a train in the white section which broke the Separate Car Act. In 1890, Louisiana passed a statute called the Separate Car Act. This law declared that all rail companies

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carrying passengers in Louisiana had to provide separate but equal accommodations for white and non-white passengers. The penalty for sitting in the wrong compartment was a fine of $25 or 20 days in jail. John Howard Ferguson was the creator of the separate car act. The case was brought by Homer Plessy and eventually led to the infamous

Plessy v. Ferguson decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of racial segregation. The following amendments were being violated because they are about living amongst each other peacefully with no racism. Obviously those personal rights are being violated right when the separate car act was being established.

In this case homer Plessy and John Howard Ferguson were in this case. Homer Plessy was a 30 year old man who was one eight black and could be considered a white man. Howard Ferguson was a lawyer and judge at the criminal district court for the parish of Orleans where he presided over the case Homer Adolph Plessy v. The State of Louisiana.
Homer since he was mostly white most likely thought that he was able to buy a ticket in the white section it wasn’t his fault he did nothing wrong. John Howard Ferguson his purpose was to go and sue this man for this thing that he did but for my opinion he maybe did it on accident.

In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a Louisiana law mandating separate but equal accommodations for blacks and whites on intrastate

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railroads was constitutional. This decision provided the legal foundation to justify many other actions by state and local governments to socially separate blacks and whites. Plessy v. Ferguson was overturned in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education.
The arrest of Homer Plessy on June 7, 1892, was part of a planned challenge to the 1890 Louisiana Separate Car Act by the Citizens' Committee to Test the Constitutionality of the Separate Car Law, a small group of black professionals in New Orleans.(
Soon after its organization in 1891, the committee appointed Albion Tourgée its legal representative.

After successfully leading a test case in which the Louisiana district court declared forced segregation in railroad cars traveling between states to be unconstitutional, the committee was anxious to test the constitutionality of segregation on railroad cars operating solely within a single state. The committee’s strategy was to have someone with mixed blood violate the law, which would allow Tourgée to question the law's arbitrariness. Homer Plessy, a native of south Louisiana who could "pass" as white, agreed to be the test case. The committee arranged with the railroad conductor and with a private detective to detain Plessy until he was arrested. When Plessy appeared before the Louisiana district court, the court ruled that a state had the constitutional power to regulate railroad companies operating solely within its borders and concluded that the Louisiana Separate Car Act was constitutional. The decision was appealed to the state

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supreme court in 1893 and was appealed again to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896.
My opinion on the courts ruling is that homer did not deserve jail time. John Ferguson is a white man and doesn’t understand what its like to be part a black man. The state law requiring segregation of races did violate the 10, 13, and 14th amendments.. Back then the black and whites weren’t treated equally. The opposing viewpoint was that Homer Plessy was to be sued & he would be confronted in the court by John Howard. Homer Plessy is only part black homer looks like a white man his individual right were being violated and was being disrespected. For example, in 1890 Louisiana passed a statute called the “Separate Car Act”. This law declared that all rail companies carrying passengers in Louisiana had to provide separate but equal accommodations for the white and non white passengers. The penalty for sitting in the wrong compartment was a fine of $25 or 20 days of jail. Homer should be allowed to be in the white section of the train because he only has a little black heritage in his family.

Today our country lives in different time different technology and ways of doing things. Our society is definitely different compared to those times. But in our time there will be some people out there who are still racists and who don’t agree with shared school and black and whites living amongst them selves during this time of matter. But in this time racism is a little bit different. Racism is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. But were not talking about racism what’s more important
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is segregation. Segregation is the unjust separation of people based on their gender, race, religion, or class. But in some areas of the world it’s relevant to what segregation and racism used to be like.

My final thoughts to this discussion are live in a country that is all about freedom. Thank goodness that in today’s time our country doesn’t have slavery and racism. In some states we still do but we also don’t have slavery and racism as bad as it used to be back the 18 and 1900s. I don’t think that Homer Plessy deserved that he would be put into jail he did not deserve the punishment he got. For my opinion his individual rights were violated. The evidence clearly shows he bought the ticket on purpose but since he was only one eighth black he still had the right to be in the white section of the train. It is with all this in mind that my decision is final his rights were violated.

The author's comments:
this paper is about the plessy v. ferguson case and my opinion to it.

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