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sions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice.
The walls erected for the defense of persons and property of individuals are trodden down and disregarded
The lawless in spirit are encouraged to become lawless in practice, and thus become absolutely unrestrained. * While, on the other hand, good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country, seeing their property destroyed, their families insulted, and their lives endangered, their persons injured, and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better, become tired of and disgusted with a government that offers them no protection.
Thus the strongest bulwark of any government may effectually be broken down and destroyed. I mean the attachment of the people."
The time, therefore, has come when the Nation should defend itself agaiust this national evil which has assumed colossal proportions. Whatever our views of States' rights may be, we must recognize that under present-day conditions in the solution of national questions, State boundaries are becoming less distinct. This change is due to social development, to science and invention, and rests upon the closer relations of trade and amity which exists between communities. Jore and more the national resources are called upon for the making of local improvements within the several States and for the relief of their population from economic and physical distress. Hardly, therefore, does it seem fair that where the National Government is, on the solicitation of State and local communities, making ever-increasing investment among them, they should deny to the National Government an interest and a voice in preventing in their own midst recurrences of mob insurrection which destroy the security of the national investment and which undermine the strength of the national credit and of the national institutions.
Surely, nothing in our National Constitution prevents our National Government from undertaking such an act of self-preservation and from protecting itself against the consequences of the break-down of due process of law through State inaction and of wholesale discrimination in the effective protection of the laws through the tyrannies of mob rule.
The power thus to protect the Nation against internal national dangers of this character were expressly conferred upon Congress by the United States Constitution.
Section 4 of article IV of the Federal Constitution reclares:
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government."
Section 1 of article XIV (fourteenth amendment) declares:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
Nor shall any ate deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Section 5 of article XIV (fourteenth amendment) declares:
“The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."
These sections deserve a liberal interpretation in favor of the rights which they were designed to protect.
In Strauder v. West Virginia (100 U.S. 303) the Supreme Court said (p. 307):
* If this is the spirit and meaning of the amendment [fourteenth amendment), whether it means more or not, it is to be construed liberally to carry out the purposes of its framers."
The same decision declares that in consequence, while the precise words of the amendment are prohibitory, they imply, and by implication confer, positive immunities and rights which cannot lawfully be invaded by the prohibited acts. To quote (p. 307):
* The words of the amendment [fourteenth amendment), it is true, are prohibitory, but they contain the necessary implication of a positive immunity, or right, most valuable to the colored race--the right to exemption from unfriendly legislation against them distinctly as colored-exemption from legal discriminations, implying inferiority in civil society, lessening the security of their enjoyment of the rights which others enjoy, and discriminations which are steps toward reducing them to the condition of a subject race."
By necessary implication, as well as by the express mandate of the fifth section of the fourteenth amendment, Congress has not only the power but the
duty to protect the rights conferred or guaranteed by the Federal Constitution either by express declaration or by implication. The Supreme Court has uniformly held that the National Government has the power, whether expressly given or not, to secure and protect the rights conferred and guaranteed by the Constitution (U.S. v. Reese, 92 U.S. 214; Strauder y. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303).
The Supreme Court has accepted as essential to the national supremacy, the necessary doctrine that Congress, in the absence of a positive delegation of powers to the State legislatures, may, by its own legislation, enforce and protect any rights derived from or created by the National Constitution. It was so declared in Prigg v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (16 Pet. (U.S.) 539), where Mr. Justice Story, speaking for the Court, laid down these propositions:
"That a clause in the Constitution conferring a right should not be so construed as to make it shadowy, or unsubstantial, or leave the citizen without a remedial power adequate for its protection, when another construction equally accordant with the words and the sense in which they were used, would enforce and protect the right granted.
“That Congress is not restricted to legislation for the execution of its es. pressly granted powers; but, for the protection of rights guaranteed by the Constitution, may employ such means, not prohibited, as are necessary and proper, or such as are appropriate, to attain the ends proposed."
In C.S. v. Reese (92 U.S. 214), it was said by Chief Justice Waite (p. 217):
“Rights and immunities created by or dependent upon the Constitution of the United States can be protected by Congress. The form and the manner of the protection may be such as Congress, in the legitimate exercise of its legislative discretion shall provide. These may be varied to meet the necessities of the particular right to be protected."
Furthermore, the protection which these sections of the Federal Constitution throw around the rights which they gauarantee is a protection not only against their violations by a State acting in its corporate capacity, but also against their violation by individuals acting in any official capacity derived, directly or indirectly, from the State. In consequence, any ministerial, executire, legislative, or judicial officer, deriving his authority, directly or indirectly, from a State, who invades any of these guaranteed rights is acting unlawfully: and Congress has the power to enact proper legislation to protect these rights from any such invasion.
As said in Eş Parte Virginia (100 V.S. 339), at page 347:
"A State acts by its legislative, its executive, or its judicial authorities. It can act in no other way. The constitutional provision, therefore, must mean that no agency of the State, or of the officers or agents by whom its powers are exerted, shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Whoerer, by virtue of publie position under a State government, deprires another of property, life, or liberty. without due process of law, or denies or takes away the equal protection of the laws, violates the constitutional inhibition: anel as he acts in the name and for the State, and is clothed with the State's power, his act is that of the State. This must be so, or the constitutional prohibition has no meaning. Then the State has clothed one of its agents with power to annul or to erade it."
In Home Telephone & Telryrach cor. City of Los Angeles (237 C.S. 278). the Supreme Court, through Mr. Chief Justice White, said (p. 29:
* The prorisions of the amendment as a pelusively fired by previous decisions are generie in their terms are adinese!, of course to the States, but also to erers person whether natural or judicial who is the repository of State power. By this construction the reach of the amendment is shown to be wertensire with any exercise by a State of power, in whaterer form exerted." In Tipinia r. Rines (100 V.S $13), it was said ( 318) :
* It is doubtless true that a State may act through different agencies, either by its legislative, its ereutive, or its judicial authorities; and the prohibitions of the amendment extend to all action of the State denying equal protection of the laws whether it he action by one of these agencies or by another. Coogress by virtue of the fifth section of the fourteenth amendment, may enforce the prohibitions whenever they are disregaried by either the legislatire, the executive, or the judicial department of the State. The mode of enforcement is left to its discretion. It may secure the right, that is enforce its reergnition. by removing the case from a state court in which it is denied into a Federal court where it will be acknowledged."
In Raymond v. Traction Co. (207 U.S. 20), the Supreme Court said (p. 36):
"The provisions of the fourteenth amendment are not confined to the action of the State through its legislature, or through the executive or judicial authority. Those provisions relate to and cover all the instrumentalities by which the State acts, and so it has been held that, whoever by virtue of public position under a State government, deprives another of any right protected by that amendment against deprivation by the State, violates the constitutional inbibition; and as he acts in the name of the State and for the State, and is clothed with the State's powers, his act is that of the State."
For the same reason the prohibitions of the fourteenth amendment apply to local officers as well as to State-wide officers, for officers of counties, States, or other local subdivisions of government are in the ultimate analysis the repository of the power of the State. Hence, in Home Telephone & Telegraph Co. v. City of Los Angeles (227 U.S. 278), it was held that acts done by a local officer under the authority of a municipal ordinance passed by virtue of power conferred by the State are embraced by the fourteenth amendment. The Supreme Court said that the exercise of municipal authority is the exertion of State power within the purview of the fourteenth amendment (p. 295).
So likewise in Yick Wo v. Hopkins (118 U.S. 356), it was held that a municipal ordinance to regulate the carrying on of public laundries within the limits of the city of San Francisco, which conferred purely arbtrary power upon the municipal authorities to give or withhold consent, was violative of the fourteenth amendment. The court said that the principles of the fourteenth amendment are to be freely extended to the quasi-legislative acts of inferior municipal bodies (p. 371).
Indeed, the Supreme Court has applied the fourteenth amendment to mere matters of administration by local officials even though the municipal or State law under which they were acting contained in itself no arbitrary discriminations and no denials of due process or the equal protection of the laws.
In Tarrance v. Florida (188 U.S. 519), Mr. Justice Brewer, speaking for the Supreme Court, said (p. 520):
* The contention of plaintiffs in error is that they were denied the equal protection of the laws by reason of an actual discrimination against their race. The law of the State is not challenged but its administration is complained of
“Such an actual discrimination is as potential in creating a denial of equality of rights as a discrimination made by law."
Again in Yick Wo v. Hopkins (118 U.S. 356), an ordinance of the city of San Francisco, which made it unlawful to maintain laundries without first having obtained the consent of the board of supervisors, was so administered that Chinamen were denied the right to maintain laundries solely because of their race and nationality. In holding that this administration of the ordinance was violative of the fourteenth amendment the Supreme Court said (p. 373):
“The facts shown establish an administration directed so exclusively against a particular class of persons as to warrant and require the conclusion that, whatever may have been the intent of the ordinances as adopted, they are applied by the public authorities charged with their administration, and thus representing the State itself, with a mind so unequal and oppressive as to amount to a practical denial by the State of that equal protection of the laws which is secured to the petitioners, as to all other persons, by the broad and benign provisions of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Though the law itself be fair on its face and impartial in appearance, yet if it is applied and administered by public authority with an evil eye and an unequal hand so as practically to make unjust and illegal discriminations between persons in similar circumstances material to their rights, the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the Constitution. This principle of interpretation has been sanctioned by this court in Henderson 1. Jayor of New York (92 U.S. 259); Chy Lung v. Freeman (92 U.S. 275); Er Parte Virginia (100 U.S. 339) ; Neal v. Delaware (103 U.S. 370); and Soon Hing v. Crowley (113 U.S. 703)."
** The fact of this discrimination is admitted. No reason for it is shown, and the conclusion cannot be resisted, that no reason for it exists except hostility to the race and nationality to which the petitioners belong, and which, in the eye of the law, is not justified. The discrimination is, therefore, illegal and the public administration which enforces it is a denial of the equal protection of the laws and a violation of the fourteenth amendment of the Constitution. The imprisonment of the petitioners is, therefore, illegal and they must be discharged."
Another important principle sustained by repeated decisions of the Supreme Court in interpreting the fourteenth amendment is that even if the State officer, in enforcing an arbitrary discrimination or a denial of the equal protection of the laws, is acting without authority derived from the constitution and the laws of the State or is even acting contrary thereto, nevertheless, his conduct is em. braced by the fourteenth amendment and can be dealt with accordingly.
For example, in Neal v. Delaware (103 U.S. 370) it was held that the exclusion, because of their race and color, of citizens of African descent from the grand jury that found, and from the petit jury that was summoned to try, the indictment, if made by the jury commissioners, without authority derived from the constitution and laws of the State, was a violation of the prisoner's rights under the fourteenth amendment; and his motions to quash the indictment and the panels of jurors should have been sustained. The court, quoting from its earlier opinion in Ex Parte Virginia (100 U.S. 339), said (p. 397):
“The constitutional provision, therefore, must mean that no agency of the State, or of the officers or agents by whom its powers are executed, shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Whoever, by virtue of public position under a State government, deprives another of property, life, or liberty without the due process of law, or denies or takes away the equal protection of the laws, violates the constitutional inhibition."
In Virginia v. Rires (100 U.S. 313) the State officer charged with the duty of selecting prospective jurors directly violated the State law prohibiting racial discrimination. The Supreme Court, while acknowledging that the officer had thereby made himself punishable at the instance of the State, went on to say that nevertheless "his act was the act of the State and was prohibited by the constitutional amendment” (p. 321).
A striking illustration of this principle occurs in Home Telephone & Telegraph (O. F. C'ity of Los Angeles (227 U.S. 278). There the State constitution of California contained guaranties of due process and equal protection of the laws, identical with those in the fourteenth amendment. Certain municipal officers, in their aciministration of a local ordinance, were guilty of arbitrary discrimination. Notwithstanding that their acts violated the constitution of their own State, the Supreme (burt held that their action could be nullified and corrected through the Federal courts, acting under the fourteenth amendment, without waiting for a State court to declare that their acts also violated the State constitution. The Supreme Court declared that inasmuch as local officers were acting or purporting to act "by virtue of public position” their conduct was embraced by the fourteenth amenilment. The court took oecasion, in effect, to orerrule (p. 294) its earlier decision in the case of Barney r. City of Verr York (193 V.S. 430) that where the local officer's act was forbidden by State statute it could not be said to be the act of the State within the meaning of the fourteenth amendment. The Supreme Court, speaking by Chief Justice White, expressly rejected the proposition that “the terms of the fourteenth amendment reached only the acts done by State officers which are within the supe of the power conferred hr the state" and said that on the entrarr ip 7):
- The settled instruction of the amendment is that it presuppies the possiDorpaty et an abun by a state ter or re: resentative of the powers Jessel an de with vi ha tingeri y. It provides therefre, for a case where one who is it even of State ļwwer ues that power to the doing of the wrings where arrendiment for huls eren although the usummation of the wrrsty not love witnte powers jo ***, if the commission of the wrong its is rendered the er is etfi jenli aided by the State authority lodge in the matter That is to say the thenirs of the ameniment is that where an er et lite om noentire of a State in the exercise #f the authority with win between pad i usues per power to do a wrong forbidden hr the anime, rr xerar whether the State has authorized the wning is irr **. iite Pederal jut ial power is empetent to affond raires aut **** by viene ing leider am the result for his exertion of per
Sa like min F's pemer Forgetows Bow rs so it was arrel that Judge Culles wat my met dhe jury for motber dessun than that they were lord, was met **rg: hala at the State but was meting against the state. am therefore II ** w** pe that of the State The Sarrege Cart held otherwise, ruling that his bekend was name a private act but one made in the course of attrial watext and by virtue of his public position
A final amt important principle is that denial et due process or the equal protection of the laws may be serumplished Ar Dabarting quite as well as by
action. An unconstitutional discrimination may result quite as effectually from the negative as from the affirmative conduct of a public official.
In United States v. Blackburn (Fed, Case no. 14603), District Judge Krekel, in charging the jury in a case where there had been a conspiracy to deprive colored citizens of equal school privileges, said (p. 1159) :
“ By the equal protection of the laws, spoken of in the indictment, is meant that the ordinary means and appliances which the law has provided shall be used and put in operation alike in all cases of violation of law. Hence, if the outrages and crimes shown to have been committed in the case before you were well known to the community at large, and that community and the officers of the law willfully failed to employ the means provided by law to ferret out and bring to trial the offenders, because of the victims being colored, it is depriving them of the equal protection of the law."
In Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Bosworth (230 Fed. 191), District Judge Cochran said (p. 207):
" What is it, then, to deny the equal protection of those laws? It is to refuse to grant or to withhold equal treatment in conferring or securing rights or in imposing or exacting performance of duties.”
In Moore v. Dempsey (261 U.S. 86) the Supreme Court held that a trial for murder in the State court in which the accused were hurried to conviction under mob domination without regard for their rights is a denial of due process and equal protection; and quoting from its opinion in Frank v. Mangum (237 U.S. 309, 335), said (p. 91):
***If the State, supplying no corrective process, carries into execution a judgment of death or imprisonment based upon a verdict thus produced by mob domination, the State deprives the accused of his life or liberty without due process of law.'
If the case is that the whole proceeding is a maskthat counsel, jury, and judge were swept to the fatal end by an irresistible wave of public passion, and that the State courts failed to correct the wrong, peither perfection in the machinery for correction nor the possibility that the trial court and counsel saw no other way of avoiding an immediate outbreak of the mob can prevent this court from securing to the petitioners their constitutional rights."
So, likewise, in Virginia v. Rives (100 U.S. 313) it was said by the Supreme Court (p. 319):
“ It is evident, therefore, that the denial or inability to enforce in the judicial tribunals of a State, rights secured to a defendant by any law providing for the equal civil rights of all persons citizens of the United States, of which section 641 speaks, is primarily, if not exclusively, a denial of such rights, or an inability to enforce them, resulting from the constitution or laws of the State, rather than a denial first made manifest at the trial of the case."
It follows from the foregoing that nonaction of an officer of the State is reached by the fourteenth amendment as much so as if he acted positively and directly. In other words, if an officer stands by and refuses to protect a citizen and does not act with the forces at his command in the face of impending or threatening danger, it is just as much an act of the State under the fourteenth amendment as if he had taken part in the lynching himself. Indeed, the nonaction of an officer is as much the act of the State as the direct and positive act of the officer and may be reached under the fourteenth amendment by appropriate legislation by Congress. Were this otherwise, the fourteenth amendment could be nullified in any State by wholesale nonaction of the State or local officers.
These principles readily sustain the coustitutionality of the antilynching bill.
This bill is expressly limited by its own definitions to official action or nonaction resulting in the denial of due process or the equal protection of the laws. It applies only to persons injured or killed through mob violence on account of race, creed, or color, or with the purpose or consequence of depriving the victim of due process of law or the equal protection of the laws where such person was suspected, accused, or convicted of any crime or offense or in the custody of any peace officer.
In other words, this statute does not seek to reach all cases of assault or murder through violence or all cases in which human rights have been denied or destroyed by public anarchy. It in no sense attempts to set up a Federal criminal code in the several States or to give to the Federal Government a regulatory, supervisory, or concomitant power in connection with the adminis. tration of the criminal laws of the State. It deals only with those instances where the personal rights guaranteed to all American citizens by the four