The Evolution of Equality: Unraveling Plessy and Embracing Inclusivity

The Plessy v. Ferguson case, which once sanctioned the division of train seats by race, ultimately faltered. The Supreme Court recognized that the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses possess a broader reach. Equal protection transcends mere safeguarding against physical harm, encompassing protections against racial discrimination. Similarly, due process is not confined to preventing chattel slavery or involuntary servitude; it also prohibits the vestiges of slavery, such as segregated train compartments. The Court decisively rejected the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine. Additionally, the Plessy decision was at odds with other due process judgments, such as those in Strauder v. West Virginia and Yick Wo v. Hopkins, marking a significant departure from past interpretations and moving towards a more expansive view of constitutional protections.

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