Three Keys to the Original Meaning of the Privileges or Immunities Clause

13 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2020

Date Written: January 24, 2020

Abstract

Establishing the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause requires a wealth of evidence. But three key data points are crucial to identifying the core of its meaning. First, Supreme Court Justice Washington’s explanation of the meaning of “privileges and immunities” in Corfield v. Coryell; second, the rights protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1866; and third, Michigan Senator Jacob Howard’s speech explaining the content of the Privileges or Immunities Clause when introducing the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Senate in 1866. Any theory of the Privileges or Immunities Clause and its original meaning that cannot comfortably accommodate these three items is highly questionable.

Keywords: constitutional law, fourteenth amendment, supreme court

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Randy E., Three Keys to the Original Meaning of the Privileges or Immunities Clause (January 24, 2020). Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3525070

Randy E. Barnett (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9936 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.randybarnett.com

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