Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co.

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Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co.
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued April 1–2, 1968
Decided June 17, 1968
Full case name Joseph Lee Jones et ux. v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. et al.
Citations 392 U.S. 409 (more)
88 S. Ct. 2186; 20 L. Ed. 2d 1189; 1968 U.S. LEXIS 2980; 1 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P9832; 47 Ohio Op. 2d 43
Prior history Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Holding
The Court held that Congress could regulate the sale of private property in order to prevent racial discrimination.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Stewart, joined by Warren, Black, Douglas, Brennan, Fortas, Marshall
Concurrence Douglas
Dissent Harlan, joined by White
Laws applied
42 U.S.C. § 1982

Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U.S. 409 (1968), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case which held that Congress could regulate the sale of private property in order to prevent racial discrimination: "[42 U.S.C. § 1982] bars all racial discrimination, private as well as public, in the sale or rental of property, and that the statute, thus construed, is a valid exercise of the power of Congress to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment."[1]

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 (passed by Congress over the veto of Andrew Johnson) provided the basis for this decision as embodied by 42 U.S.C. § 1982.

Reversing many precedents, the Supreme Court held that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibited both private and state-backed discrimination and that the 13th Amendment authorized Congress to prohibit private acts of discrimination as among "the badges and incidents of slavery." Congress possessed the power to "determine what are the badges and incidents of slavery, and the authority to translate that determination into effective legislation."

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