Privileges or Immunities

80 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2010 Last revised: 23 Feb 2017

Date Written: February 23, 2010


What was meant by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause? Did it incorporate the U.S. Bill of Rights against the states? Long ignored evidence clearly shows that the Clause was an attempt to resolve a national dispute about the Comity Clause rights of free blacks. In this context, the phrase “the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” was a label for Comity Clause rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment used this phrase to make clear that free blacks were entitled to such rights.

Keywords: privileges or immunities, incorporation, bill of rights, fourteenth amendment, slavery, race, modernity, mobility

Suggested Citation

Hamburger, Philip, Privileges or Immunities (February 23, 2010). Northwestern University Law Review, 2011, Available at SSRN:

Philip Hamburger (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

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