Amdt14.S1.9.6.1 Transportation

Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1:

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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State 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.

The separate but equal doctrine won Supreme Court endorsement in the transportation context, 1 and its passing in the education field did not long predate its demise in transportation as well. 2 During the interval, the Court held invalid a state statute that permitted carriers to provide sleeping and dining cars for white persons only, 3 held that a carrier’s provision of unequal, or nonexistent, first class accommodations to African Americans violated the Interstate Commerce Act, 4 and voided both state-required and privately imposed segregation of the races on interstate carriers as burdens on commerce. 5 Boynton v. Virginia6 voided a trespass conviction of an interstate African American bus passenger who had refused to leave a restaurant that the Court viewed as an integral part of the facilities devoted to interstate commerce and therefore subject to the Interstate Commerce Act.


  1.  Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).
  2.  Gayle v. Browder, 352 U.S. 903 (1956), aff’g 142 F. Supp. 707 (M.D. Ala.) (statute requiring segregation on buses is unconstitutional). We have settled beyond question that no State may require racial segregation of interstate transportation facilities. . . . This question is no longer open; it is foreclosed as a litigable issue. Bailey v. Patterson, 369 U.S. 31, 33 (1962).
  3.  McCabe v. Atchison, T. & S.F. Ry., 235 U.S. 151 (1914).
  4.  Mitchell v. United States, 313 U.S. 80 (1941).
  5.  Morgan v. Virginia, 328 U.S. 373 (1946); Henderson v. United States, 339 U.S. 816 (1950).
  6.  364 U.S. 454 (1960).