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composing the Union. Those, therefore, who had favor of plaintiffs rests wholly on the assumption been born and resided always in the District of that the citizenship is the same, and the priviColumbia or in the territories, though within the leges and immunities guarantied by the clause United States, were not citizens. Whether this are the same. proposition was sound or not, had never been The language is, “no State shall make or enjudicially decided. But it had been held by this force any law which shall abridge the privileges court, in the celebrated Dred Scott case, only a or immunities of citizens of the United States." few years before the outbreak of the civil war, It is a little remarkable, if this clause was inthat a man of African descent, whether a slave tended as a protection to the citizen of a State or not, was not and could not be a citizen of a against the legislative power of his own State, State or of the United States. This decision, that the word citizen of the State should be left while it met the condemnation of some of the out when it is so carefully used, and used in conablest statesmen and constitutional lawyers of tradistinction to citizens of the United States, in the country, had never been overruled; and if the very sentence which precedes it. It is too it was to be accepted as a constitutional limita- clear for argument that the change in phraseoltion of the right of citizenship, then all the negro ogy was adopted understandingly and with a race who had recently been made freemen were purpose. still not only not citizens, but were incapable of Of the privileges and immunities of the citizen becoming so by anything short of an amendment of the United States, and of the privileges and to the Constitution.
immunities of the citizen of the State, and what To remove this difficulty primarily, and to es- they respectively are, we will presently consider; tablish a clear and comprehensive definition of but we wish to state here that it is only the forcitizenship which should declare what should mer which are placed by this clause under the proconstitute citizenship of the United States, and tection of the federal Constitution, and that the also citizenship of a State, the first clause of the latter, whatever they may be, are not intended first section was framed.
to have any additional protection by this para"All persons born or naturalized in the United graph of the amendment. States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, If, then, there is a difference between the privare citizens of the United States and of the State ileges and immunities belonging to a citizen of wherein they reside.”
the United States as such, and those belonging The first observation we have to make on this to the citizen of the State as such, the latter must clause is, that it puts at rest both the questions rest for their security and protection where they which we stated to have been the subject of dif. have heretofore rested, for they are not embraced ferences of opinion. It declares that persons may by this paragraph of the amendment. be citizens of the United States without regard The first occurrence of the words privileges to their citizenship of a particular State, and it and immunities in our constitutional history, is overturns the Dred Scott decision by making all to be found in the fourth of the articles of the persons born within the United States, and eub- old confederation. ject to its jurisdiction, citizens of the United It declares “that the better to secure and perStates. That its main purpose was to establish petuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the citizenship of the negro can admitof no doubt. the people of the different States in this Union, The phrase "subject to iis jurisdiction" was in the free inhabitants of each of these States, pautended to exclude from its operation children of pers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice exministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of for- cepted, shall be entitled to all the privileges and eign States born within the United States. immunities of free citizens in the several States;
The next observation is more important in and the people of each State shall have free inview of the arguments of counsel in the present gress and regress to and from any other State, case. It is that the distinction between citizen- and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade ship of the United States and citizenship of a State and commerce, subject to the same duties, impois clearly recognized and established." Not only sitions, and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof may a man be a citizen of the United States with respectively." out being a citizen of a State, but an important In the Constitution of the United States, which element is necessary to convert the former into superseded the Articles of Confederation, the corthe latter. He must reside within the State to responding provision is found in section two of the make him a citizen of it, but it is only necessary fourth article, in the following words: The citithat he should be born or naturalized in the zens of each State shall be entitled to all the privUnited States to be a citizen of the Union. ileges and immunities of citizens of the several
It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizen- States. ship of the United States and a citizenship of a There can be but little question that the purState, which are distinct from each other, and pose of both these provisions is the same, and which depend upon different characteristics or that the privileges and immunities intended are circumstances in the individual.
the same in each. In the article of the confedWe think these distinctions and its explicit eration we have some of these specifically menrecognition in this amendment of great weight tioned, and enough perhaps to give some general in this argument, because the next paragraph of idea of the class of civil rights meant by the this same section, which is the one mainly relied phrase. on by the plaintiffs in error, speaks only of priv- Fortunately we are not without judicial conileges and immunities of citizens of the United struction of this clause of the Constitution. The States, and does not speak of those of citizens of first and the leading case on the subject is that the several States. The argument, however, in of Corfield vs. Coryell, decided by Mr. Justice Washington in the circuit court for the district of existence or protection, beyond the very few exPennsylvania in 1823. (4 Wash. C. C. R., 371 ) press limitations which the federal Constitution
“The inquiry," he says, " is what are the priv- imposed upon the States—such, for instance, as ileges and immunities of citizens of the several the prohibition against ex post facto laws, bills of States? We feel no hesitation in confining these attainder, and laws impairing the obligation of expressions to those privileges and immunities contracts. But with the exception of these and which are fundamental; which belong of right a few other restrictions, the entire domain of the to the citizens of all free governments, and which privileges and immunities of citizens of the States, have at all times been enjoyed by citizens of the as above defined, lay within the constitutional several States which compose this Union, from and legislative power of the States, and without the time of their becoming free, independent, and that of the federal government. Was it the pursovereign. What these fundamental pricciples pose of the fourteenth amendment, by the simple are, it would be more tedious than difficult to declaration that no State should make or enforce enumerate.
any law which shall abridge the privileges and "They may all, however, be comprehended immunities of citizens of ihe United States, to under the following general heads: protection by transfer the security and protection of all the the government, with the right to acquire and civil rights which we have mentioned, from the possess property of every kind, and to pursue and States to the federal government? And where obtain happiness and safety, subject, neverthe. it is declared that Congress shall have the power less, to such restraints as the government may to enforce that article, was it intended to bring prescribe for the general good of the whole." within the power of Congress the entire domain
This definition of the privileges and immuni- of civil rights heretofore belonging exclusively ties of citizens of the States is adopted in the to the States ? main by this court in the recent case of Ward All this and more must follow if the proposiVs. The State of Maryland, (12 Wallace, 430,) tion of the plaintiffs in error be sound. For not while it declines to undertake an authoritative only are these rights subject to the control of definition beyond what was necessary to that Congress whenever in its discretion any of them decision. The description, when taken to in- are supposed to be abridged by State legislation, clude others not named, but which are of the hut that body may also pass laws in advance, same general character, embraces nearly every limiting and restricting the exercise of legislative civil right for the establishment and protection power by the States, in their most ordinary and of which organized government is instituted. usual functions, as in its judgment it may think They are, in the language of Judge Washington, proper on all such subjects. And still further, those rights which are fundamental. Through- such a construction followed by the reversal of out his opinion, they are spoken of as rights be- the judgments of the Supreme Court of Louisiana longing to the individual as a citizen of a State. in these cases, would constitute this court a perThey are so spoken of in the constitutional pro- petual censor upon all legislation of the States, vision which he was construing. And they have on the civil rights of their own citizens, with always been held to be the class of rights which authority to nullify such as it did not approve the State governments were created to establish as consistent with those rights, as they existed and secure.
at the time of the adoption of this amendment. In the case of Paul vs. Virginia, (8 Wallace, The argument we admit is not always the most 180,) the court, in expounding this clause of the conclusive which is drawn from the consequences Constitution, says that “the privileges and im- urged against the adoption of a particular conmunities secured to citizens of each State in the struction of an instrument. But when, as in the several States, by the provision in question, are case before us, these consequences are so serious, those privileges and immunities which are com- so far-reaching and prevading, so great a departmon to the citizens in the latter States under their ure from the structure and spirit of our instituconstitution and laws by virtue of their being tions; when the effect is to fetter and degrade citizens.”
the State governments by subjecting them to the The constitutional provision there alluded to control of Congress, in the exercise of powers did not create those rights, which it called priv- heretofore universally conceded to them of the ileges and immunities of citizens of the States. most ordinary and fundamental character; when It threw around them in that clause no security in fact it radically changes the whole theory of for the citizen of the State in which they were the relations of the State and federal governclaimed or exercised. Nor did it profess to con- ments to each other, and of both these governtrol the power of the State governments over the ments to the people; the argument has a force rights of its own citizens.
that is irresistible in the absence of language Its sole purpose was to declare to the several which expresses such a purpose too clearly to States, that whatever those rights, as you grant admit of doubt. or establish them to your own citizens, or as you We are convinced that no such results were limit or qualify, or impose restrictions on their intended by the Congress which proposed these exercise, the same, neither more nor less, shall amendments, nor by the legislatures of the States be the measure of the rights of citizens of other which ratified them. States within your jurisdiction.
Having shown that the privileges and immuIt would be the vainest show of learning to nities relied on in the argument are those which attempt to prove by citations of authority, that belonged to citizens of the States as such, and up to the adoption of the recent amendments, no that they are left to the State governments for claim or pretence was set up that those rights security and protection, and not by this article depended on the federal government for their placed under the special care of the federal government, we may hold ourselves excused from States; nor shall any State deprive any person defining the privileges and immunities of citizens of life, liberty, or property without due process of the United States which no State can abridge, of law, nor deny to any person within its juris until some case involving those privileges may diction the equal protection of its laws." make it necessary to do so.
The argument has not been much pressed in But lest it should be said that no such priv- these cases that the defendant's charter deprives ileges and immunities are to be found if those the plaintiffs of their property without due prowe have been considering are excluded, we vent- cess of law, or that it denies to them the equal are to suggest some which owe their existence protection of the law. The first of these para to the federal government, its national character, graphs has been in the Constitution since the its constitution, or its laws.
adoption of the fifth amendment, as a restraint One of these is well described in the case of upon the federal power. It is also to be found, Crandall v8. Nevada, 6 Wallace, 36. It is said in some form of expression, in the constitutions to be the right of the citizen of this great coun- of nearly all the States, as a restraint upon the try, protected by implied guarantees of its Con- power of the States. This law, then, has pracstitution, “to come to the seat of government to tically been the same as it now is during the assert any claim he may have upon that govern existence of the Government, except so far as the ment, to transact any business he inay have with present amendment may place the restraining it, to seek its protection, to share its offices, to power over the States in this matter in the hands engage in administering its functions. He has of the federal Government. the right of free access to its sea-ports, through! We are not without judicial interpretation, which all operations of foreign commerce are therefore, both State and national, of the meanconducted, to the sub-treasuries, land offices, and ing of this clause. And it is sufficient to say courts of justice in the several States.” And that, under no construction of that provision quoting from the language of Chief Justice Taney that we have ever seen, or any that we deem in another case, it is said "that for all the great admissible, can the restraint imposed by the prirposes for which the federal government was State of Louisiana apon the exercise of their established, we are one people, with one common trade by the butchers of New Orleans be held country, we are all citizens of the United States;" to be a deprivation of property within the mean and it is, as such citizens, that their rights are ing of that provision. supported in this court in Crandall vs. Nevada. / “Nor shall any State deny to any person with
Another privilege of a citizen of the United in its jurisdiction the equal protection of the States is to demand the care and protection of laws."" the federal government over his life, liberty, and In the light of the history of these amendproperty, when on the high seas or within the ments and the pervading purpose of them, which jurisdiction of a foreign government. Of this we have already discussed, it is not difficult to there can be no doubt, nor that the right depends give a meaning to this clause. The existence of upon his character as a citizen of the United laws in the States where the newly emancipated States. The right to peaceably assemble and negroes resided, which discriminated with gross petition for redress of grievances, the privilege injustice and hardship against them as a class, of the writ of habeas corpus, are rights of the citi- was the evil to be remedied by this clause, and zen guaranteed by the federal Constitution. The by it such laws are forbidden. right to use the navigable waters of the United If, however, the States did not conform their States, however they may penetrate the territory laws to its requirements, then by the fifth section of the several States, all rights secured to our of the article of amendment Congress was aucitizens by treaties with foreign nations, are de- thorized to enforce it by suitable legislation. pendent upon citizenship of the United States, We doubt very much whether any action of a and not citizenship of a State. One of these State not directed, by way of discrimination, privileges is conferred by the very article under against the negroes as a class, or on account of consideration. It is that a citizen of the their race, will ever be held to come within the United States can, of his own volition, become purview of this provision. It is so clearly a a citizen of any State of the Union by a bona provision for that race and that emergency that fide residence therein, with the same rights as a strong case would be necessary for its applica other citizens of that State. To these may be tion to any other. But as it is a State that is added the rights secured by the thirteenth and to be dealt with, and not alone the validity of fifteenth articles of amendment, and by the other its laws, we may safely leave that matter until cause of the fourteenth, next to be considered. Congress shall have exercised its power, or some
But it is useless to pursue this branch of the case of State oppression, by denial of equal jusinquiry, since we are of opinion that the rights tice in its courts, shall have claimed a decision claimed by these plaintiffs in error, if they have at our hands. We find no such case in the one any existence, are not privileges and immunities before us, and do not deem it necessary to go of citizens of the United States within the mean- over the argument again, as it may have relation ing of the clause of the fourteenth amendment to this particular clause of the amendment under consideration.
1 In the early bistory of the organization of the "All persons born or naturalized in the United government, its statesmen seem to have divided States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are on the line which should separate the powers of citizens of the United States and of the State the national government from those of the state wherein they reside. No State shall make or governments, and though this line has never enforce any law which shall abridge the privi- | been very well defined in public opinion, such a leges or immunities of citizens of the United I division has continued from that day to this
The adoption of the first eleven amendments the first section of the fourteenth article of to the Constitution so soon after the original in amendment of the Constitution of the United strument was accepted, shows a prevailing sense of States. danger at that time from the federal power. And 4. The power of a State to prescribe the qualifiit cannot be denied that such a jealousy con cations for admission to the bar of its own tinued to exist with many patriotic men until courts is unaffected by the fourteenth amendthe breaking out of the late civil war. It was ment, and this court cannot inquire into then discovered that the true danger to the per the reasonableness or propriety of the rules petuity of the Union was in the capacity of the it may prescribe. State organizations to combine and concentrate Mr. Justice MILLER delivered the opinion of all the powers of the State, and of contiguous | the court as follows: States, for a determined resistance to the general The plaintiff in error, residing in the State of government.
Illinois, made application to the judges of the Unquestionably this has given great force to supreme court of that State for a license to practhe argument, and added largely to the number tice law. She accompanied her petition with of those who believe in the necessity of a strong the usual certificate from an inferior court of her national government.
good character, and that on due examination she But, however pervading this sentiment, and had been found to possess the requisite qualifica. however it may have contributed to the adoption tions. Ponding this application she also filed of the amendments we have been considering, we an affidavit, to the effect " that she was born in do not see in those amendments any purpose to the State of Vermont; that she was (had been) a destroy the main features of the general system. citizen of that State; that she is now a citizen Under the pressure of all the excited feeling grow of the United States, and has been for many ing out of the war, our statesmen have still be- years past a resident of the city of Chicago, in lieved that the existence of the States with pow- the State of Illinois.” And with this affidavit ers for domestic and local government, including she also filed a paper, claiming that, under the the regulation of civil rights--the rights of per- foregoing facts, she was entitled to the license son and of property-was essential to the perfect prayed for by virtue of the second section of the working of our complex form of government, fourth article of the Constitution of the United though they have thought proper to impose ad- States, and of the fourteenth article of the amendditional limitations on the States, and to conferment of that instrument. additional power on that of the nation.
The statute of Illinois on this subject enaets "But whatever fluctuations may be seen in the that no person shall be permitted to practice as history of public opinion on this subject during an attorney or counsellor-at-law, or to commence, the period of our national existence, we think it conduct, or defend any action, suit, or plaint, in will be found that this court, so far as its func- which he is not a party concerned, in any court tions required, has always held with a steady of record within this State, either by using or and an even hand the balance between State and subscribing his own name or the name of any federal power, and we trust that such may .con- other person, without having previously obtained tinue to be the history of its relation to that a license for that purpose from some two of the subject so long as it shall have duties to per- justices of the supreme court, which license shall form which demand of it a construction of the constitute the person receiving the same an atConstitution, or any of its parts.
torney and counsellor-at-law, and shall authorize The judgments of the Supreme Court of Louis him to appear in all the courts of record witbin jana in these cases are affirmed.
this State, and there to practice as an attorney and counsellor-at-law, according to the laws and
customs thereof. The Myra Bradwell Case.
The supreme court denied the application, apSUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.
parently upon the ground that it was a woman
who made it. No. 12.-December Term, 1872.
The record is not very perfect, but it may be
fairly taken that the plaintiff asserted her right Myra Bradwell, Plaintiff in Error,) In error to the
to a license on the grounds, among others, that Supreme Court of vs.
the State of Illi- she was a citizen of the United States, and that The State of Illinois. ) nois.
having been a citizen of Vermont at one time, 1. The Supreme Court of Illinois having refused she was, in the State of Illinois, entitled to any
to grant to plaintiff a license to practice law right granted to citizens of the latter State.
provision of the federal Constitution. be considered as properly before this court, • 2. The second section of the fourth article is in-! As regards the provision of the Constitution,
applicable, because plaintiff is a citizen of that citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the State of whose action she complains, and the privileges and immunities of citizens in the that section only guarantees privileges and several States, the plaintiff in her affidavit has immunities to citizens of other States in i stated very clearly a case to which it is inapplethat State.
cable. 3. Nor is the right to practice law in the State. The protection designed by that clause, as has
courts a privilege or immunity of a citizen been repeatedly held, has no application to a of the United States, within the meaning of citizen of the State. whose laws are complained of. If the plaintiff was a citizen of the State of which the judgment in those cases is founded. Illinois, that provision of the Constitution gave It is sufficient to say they are conclusive of the her no protection against its courts or its legis present case. lation.
The judgment of the State court is, therefore, The plaintiff seems to have seen this difficulty, I affirmed. and attempts to avoid it by stating that she was born in Vermont.
DISSENTING OPINION. While she remained in Vermont that circum Mr. Justice BRADLEY said: stance made her a citizen of that State. But she I concur in the judgment of the court in this states, at the same time, that she is a citizen of case by which the judgment of the Supreme the United States, and that she is now, and has Court of Illinois is affirmed, but not for the rear been for many years past, a resident of Chicago, sons specified in the opinion just read. in the State of Illinois.
The claim of the plaintiff, who is a married The fourteenth amendment declares that citi. woman, to be admitted to practice as an attor. zens of the United States are citizens of the ney and counsellor-at-law is based upon the supState within which they reside; therefore plain posed right of every person, man or woman, to tiff was, at the time of making her application, engage in any lawful employment for a liveli& citizen of the United States and a citizen of hood. The Supreme Court of Illinois denied the the State of Illinois.
application on the ground that, by the common We do not here mean to say that there may law, which is the basis of the laws of Illinois, got be a temporary residence in one State, with only men were admitted to the bar, and the leg. intent to return to another, which will not create islature had not made any change in this respect, citizenship in the former. But plaintiff states but had simply provided that no person should nothing to take her case out of the definition of be admitted to practice as attorney or counsellor citizenship of a State as defined by the first without having previously obtained a license for Section of the fourteenth amendment.
that purpose from two justices of the supreme In regard to that amendment counsel for court, and that no person should receive a license plaintiff in this court truly says that there are without first obtaining a certificate from the certain privileges and immunities which belong court of some county of his good moral character. to à citizen of the United States as such; other. In other respects it was left to the discretion of wise it would be nonsense for the fourteenth the court to establish the rules by which admisamendment to prohibit a State from abridging sion to the profession should be determined. them; and he proceeds to argue that admission The court, however, regarded itself as bound by to the bar of a State of a person who possesses at least two limitations. One was that it should the requisite learning and character is one of establish such terms of admission as would pro those which a State may not deny.
mote the proper administration of justice, and In this latter proposition we are not able to the other that it should not admit any persons or concur with counsel. We agree with him that class of persons not intended by the legislature there are privileges and immunities belonging to to be admitted, eyen though not expressly excitizens of the United States, in that relation and cluded by statute. In view of this latter limitar character, and that it is these and these alone tion the court felt compelled to deny the appliwhich a State is forbidden to abridge. But the cation of females to be admitted as members of right to admission to practice in the courts of a the bar. Being contrary to the rules of the State is not one of them. This right in no sense common law and the usages of Westminster depends on citizenship of the United States. It Hall from time immemorial, it could not be suphas not, as far as we know, ever been made in posed that the legislature bad intended to adopt any State, or in any case, to depend on citizen. any different rule. ship at all. Certainly many prominent and dis. The claim that, under the fourteenth amend. tinguished lawyers have been admitted to prac-ment of the Constitution, which declares that no tice, both in the State and Federal courts, who State shall make or enforce any law which shall were not citizens of the United States or of any abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens State. But, on whatever basis this right may of the United States, the statute law of Illinois, or be placed, so far as it can have any relation to the common law prevailing in that State, can no citizenship at all, it would seem that, as to the longer be set up as a barrier against the right of courts of a State, it would relate to citizenship females to pursue any lawful employment for a of the State, and as to federal courts, it would livelihood, (the practice of law included,) assumes relate to citizenship of the United States. that it is one of the privileges and immunities of
The opinion just delivered in the Slaughter- women as citizens to engage in any and every prohouse Cases from Louisiana renders elaborate fession, occupation, or employment in civil life. argument in the present case unnecessary; for, It certainly cannot be affirmed, as a historical unless we are wholly and radically mistaken in fact, that this has ever been established as one the principles on which those cases are decided, of the fundamental privileges and immunities of the right to control and regulate the granting of the sex. On the contrary, the civil law, as well license to practice law in the courts of a State is as nature herself, has always recognized a wide one of those powers which are not transferred difference in the respective spheres and destinies for its protection to the federal government, and of man and woman. Man is, or should be, its exorcise is in no manner governed or con- woman's protector and defender. The natural trolled by citizenship of the United States in the and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs party seeking such license.
to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of It is unnecessary to repeat the argument on the occupations of civil life. The constitution