Racism and the Law: The Legacy and Lessons of Plessy

  • Gerald J. Postema

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-v
  2. Gerald J. Postema
    Pages 1-24
  3. Frederick Schauer
    Pages 59-77
  4. Bernard R. Boxill
    Pages 79-110

About this book


Plessy v Ferguson (1897) established racial segregation in American constitutional law for over fifty years and its moral and political legacy lives on, despite attempts in the United States to counter its devastating effects during the last half century. Ironically, in the current debate over affirmative action, Justice Harlan's eloquent dissent has been used to justify attacks on government affirmative action programs. In this book, five distinguished philosophers and constitutional theorists, working from very different theoretical positions, take a fresh critical look at the moral and political principles underlying this historic decision and Harlan's dissent. They also explore the nature and extent of law's complicity in perpetuating Plessy's racialist aims. Emerging from their varied but complementary analyses is a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the social injustice of racial segregation in its historic and contemporary forms and of resources of the law to reverse it.


Geschäftsordnung constitutional law justice morality

Editors and affiliations

  • Gerald J. Postema
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1997
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-4883-7
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-8977-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site