United States v. Cruikshank

(1876)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

Waite’s opinion outlines a concept of dual citizenship first developed by the Supreme Court in 1873 in the Slaughter-House Cases. A citizen owed allegiance to both the federal and state governments and, in turn, could expect those governments to protect the specific rights attributable to each jurisdiction. Under this construction it was left to the states to prosecute cases of murder, manslaughter, and homicide as well as most infringements of civil rights.

Although Waite argues that the Fifteenth Amendment in itself does not guarantee the...

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Morrison R. Waite (Library of Congress)

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