From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...
Plessy v. Ferguson
United States Supreme Court
163 U.S. 537 (1896)
In 1890, the State of Louisiana passed a law that provided for separate railway cars for Caucasian and African American persons. Plessy (defendant) was seven-eighths Caucasian and one-eighth African American, but was considered African American under Louisiana law. He challenged the law by taking a seat in a Caucasian railway car and was asked to move to the African American car by the conductor. When he refused, he was forcibly ejected and imprisoned. The Committee of Citizens originally brought suit on behalf of Plessy in Louisiana state court challenging his arrest and conviction. The presiding judge, Ferguson (plaintiff), held that Louisiana had a right to enact such legislation to regulate railway companies as long as those companies operated within the state’s borders. Plessy then sought a writ of prohibition against Ferguson. The Committee of Citizens appealed on Plessy’s behalf to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which upheld Judge Ferguson’s ruling. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)
Dissent (Harlan, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 606,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 606,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.