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Thirteenth Amendment Is Used To Protect Against Racial Discrimination


In Jones v. Mayer, the Supreme Court upholds an 1866 law that gives all persons regardless of race the right to buy and sell property. The Court holds that Congress as the power under the Thirteenth Amendment to prohibit private businesses from discriminating against people of color. The Court declares that the freedom that Congress is empowered to secure under the Thirteenth Amendment includes the freedom to buy whatever a white man can buy, the right to live wherever a white man can live. If Congress cannot say that being a free man means at least this much, then the Thirteenth Amendment made a promise the nation cannot keep.