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Faculty Scholarship

1993

Fordham Law School

Congress

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Chase Court And Fundamental Rights: A Watershed In American Constitutionalism, The , Robert J. Kaczorowski Jan 1993

Chase Court And Fundamental Rights: A Watershed In American Constitutionalism, The , Robert J. Kaczorowski

Faculty Scholarship

Three weeks before he died in May 1873, the frail and ailing Salmon P. Chase joined three of his brethren in dissent in one of the most important cases ever decided by the United States Supreme Court, the Slaughter-House Cases.1 This decision was a watershed in United States constitutional history for several reasons. Doctrinally, it represented a rejection of the virtually unanimous decisions of the lower federal courts upholding the constitutionality of revolutionary federal civil rights laws enacted in the aftermath of the Civil War. Institutionally, it was an example of extraordinary judicial activism in overriding the legislative will ...