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2009

Civil Rights and Discrimination

History

Michigan Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

"Airbrushed Out Of The Constitutional Canon": The Evolving Understanding Of Giles V. Harris, 1903-1925, Samuel Brenner Mar 2009

"Airbrushed Out Of The Constitutional Canon": The Evolving Understanding Of Giles V. Harris, 1903-1925, Samuel Brenner

Michigan Law Review

Richard H. Pildes argued in an influential 2000 article that the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Giles v. Harris, which was written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, was the "one decisive turning point" in the history of "American (anti)-democracy." In Giles, Holmes rejected on questionable grounds Jackson W. Giles's challenge to the new Alabama Constitution of 1901-a document which was designed to disfranchise and had the effect of disfranchising African Americans. The decision thus contributed significantly to the development of the all-white electorate in the South, and the concomitant marginalization of southern African Americans. According to ...