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Michigan Supreme Court

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Michigan Supreme Court Territorial Times to the 1950s: Decisions Affecting African Americans Judge Woodward:1807 Denison v Tucker: slaves returned to Tucker who was ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Michigan Supreme Court


1
Michigan Supreme Court
  • Territorial Times to the 1950s Decisions
    Affecting African Americans

2
Territorial Cases
3
Judge Woodward1807
  • Denison v Tucker slaves returned to Tucker who
    was deemed to be lawful master of the Denisons
  • In Matter of Richard Pattinson Woodward decided
    not to return fugitive slaves
  • Two cases demonstrate conflict between what was
    viewed as the immorality of slavery and an
    obligation to and interpretation of the laws

4
Voting
  • Gordon v Farrar Supreme Court found that voting
    was exclusive to white males, 1844
  • People v Dean Justices Campbell, Cooley and
    Christiancy defined white as less than ¼ African
    blood
  • Hedgeman v Board of Registration Court held that
    free blacks were not citizens

5
Education
  • Workman v Detroit Board of Education, 1869
  • Separate but Equal Doctrine dismissed
  • Public school admission based on race ruled
    illegal
  • 1871 William W. Ferguson first African American
    admitted to Detroit Public School system
  • Legal victory without practical application,
    schools continued to be segregated

6
Public Accommodations
  • Day v Owen, 1858
  • Ferguson v Gies, 1890
  • Bolden v Grand Rapids Operating Corp, 1927

7
Day v Owen, 1858
  • Denied passage on a steamer from Detroit to
    Toledo
  • Sued for damages
  • Court ruled that ultimately the defendant had the
    right to decide who would ride on his steamer

8
Ferguson v Gies, 1890
  • Came after Civil Rights legislation, Act 130
  • Counteracted ideology of Day v Owen
  • In Michigan, there must be absolute,
    unconditional equality of White and Colored
    before the Law-Justice Morse
  • Prominent African American representation

Justice Morse
9
Bolden v Grand Rapids Operating Corp, 1927
  • Gave African Americans right to sue for damages
    if discriminated against
  • Michigans Civil Rights Statute was found to be
    constitutional exercise of the states police
    powers

10
William W. Ferguson
  • Prominent Detroit business owner of a printing
    company
  • Became a lawyer in 1897
  • First African American elected to Michigan
    Legislature

11
D. Augustus Straker
  • African-American lawyer from the Bahamas,
    represented Ferguson
  • One of the first minorities to argue before the
    Michigan Supreme Court
  • Included in 1900 time capsule that was recently
    opened

12
Restrictive Covenants
  • Most commonly, refusing housing based on racial
    restrictions
  • Parmalee v Morris,1922 upheld racially
    restrictive covenants
  • Sipes v McGhee, 1947 Led to a U.S. Supreme Court
    ruling that states could not enforce racially
    restrictive covenants

13
Ramifications
  • The Michigan Supreme Court made powerful
    decisions, promoting change or maintaining the
    status quo, and whether positive or negative the
    Court has an undeniable impact on our lives.
  • The cases chosen represent medley of the Courts
    work
  • Historically, the Court reflected the
    conservative beliefs of Midwestern Michigan
    society
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