David Wycoff


The years 1873-1883 form perhaps the most important decade in United States constitutional history. In the course of deciding a steady stream of cases involving the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, the Supreme Court laid the basis for the next century of the constitutional law of civil rights and civil liberties. Unfortunately, it was a "dreadful decade." In decision after decision, the Court struck down federal laws designed to protect civil rights and civil liberties, and devitalized the new amendments.

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