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United States v. Harris

Significance, Congress Lacked Power To Pass Law, Impact, Related Cases, Further Readings


United States


R. G. Harris, et al.

Plaintiff's Claim

A federal civil rights statute making it a crime for two or more persons to conspire to deprive another person of the equal protection of the laws or of equal privileges or immunities under the laws is constitutional.

Chief Lawyer for Plaintiff

Samuel F. Phillips, U.S. Solicitor General

Chief Defense Lawyer


Justices for the Court

Samuel Blatchford, Joseph P. Bradley, Stephen Johnson Field, Horace Gray, John Marshall Harlan I, Stanley Matthews, Samuel Freeman Miller, Morrison Remick Waite, William Burnham Woods (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

22 January 1883


That the federal statute was unconstitutional. Therefore, the criminal indictment against the defendants was dismissed.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917