John Howard Ferguson


John Howard Ferguson

John Howard Ferguson was a lawyer and judge at the criminal district court for the parish of Orleans where he presided over the case "Homer Adolph Plessy v. The State of Louisiana". The case was brought by Homer Plessy and eventually led to the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of racial segregation. [ [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=163&invol=537 Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) (full text in one web page)] ]

Judge Ferguson had previously declared the Separate Car Act, a law declaring that Louisiana rail companies had to provide separate but equal accommodations for white and non-white passengers, "unconstitutional on trains that travelled through several states". In Plessy's case however, he decided that the state could choose to regulate railroad companies that operated solely within the state of Louisiana. Ferguson found Plessy guilty of not leaving a "white" car and declared the Separate Car Act was constitutional. [cite web | title = Plessy v. Ferguson (1896): Decision Established Doctrine of "Separate but Equal| work = Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Online| url = http://www.law.uchicago.edu/news/susntein/2004/rehnquist-memo.html| accessdate = 2008-04-07]

Plessy then appealed the case to the Louisiana State Supreme Court, which affirmed the decision that the Louisiana law was constitutional. Plessy petitioned for a writ of error from the Supreme Court of the United States where Judge John Howard Ferguson was named in the case brought before the United States Supreme Court because he had been named in the petition to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

References

External links

* [http://www.landmarkcases.org/plessy/background3.html Plessy v. Ferguson at the Web Chronolgy Project]
* [http://www.savstate.edu/naacp/Documents/plessy.htm Plessy v. Ferguson at Savanna State University]


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