Narrowly construed the reach of the 13th and 14th Amends in their applicability to private racial discrimination. Although the Court held that the 13th Amend prohibits slavery by either private or governmental entities, in the Civil Rights Cases, the Court limited Congress’ ability to define and remedy the badges of slavery.
– J.Bradley-took a narrow view of the power of Congress to enforce the 14th Amend under its §5 power. It does not authorize Congress to create a code of municipal law for the regulation of private rights; but to provide modes of redress against the operation of state laws, and the action of state officers…”
– Dissenting J.Harlan- both the 13th and 14th Amends conferred power on Congress to legislate directly, at least reaching private individuals engaged in quasi-public business.
– Next, there seems to have been a shift towards viewing Congress’ enforcement power broadly.
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