Talk:John Marshall Harlan

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Prejudiced against the Chinese? Why?[edit]

I am rather disturbed by the part concerning a supposed bias against Chinese :

Harlan's liberal views on race did not extend to the Chinese. He wrote this biased statement in his dissent: "There is a race so different from our own that we do not permit those belonging to it to become citizens of the United States. Persons belonging to it are, with few exceptions, absolutely excluded from our country. I allude to the Chinese race. ...But by the statute in question, a Chinaman can ride in the same passenger coach with white citizens of the United States, while citizens of the black race in Louisiana [cannot]...

Maybe Harlan disliked or despised the Chinese, I have no idea. Yet to call this part of the Plessy dissent biased sounds to me like a total misunderstanding. Harlan contrasts "the Chinse race"'s lots to "the black race"'s. A Chinaman is not a citizen and the law of the country are hostile to him (Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882). A Black is a citizen and a such is entiled to the equal protection of the laws. Yet the former is allowed in the Whites' coach and the latter is not. Certainly, his point is not that the Chinaman should be excluded, nor that the Chinese Exclusion Act is a good idea (nor a bad one). This contrast simply shows that the law of Louisiana is a display of prejudice against the Blacks and tramples citizenship and the equals protection clause. In my view, the only suspicious phrase is "a race so different from our own". I do not know whether he states his opinion, or merely the opinion of the country, as expressed in its law. our own is an interesting phrase too, it most certainly means white, but that should not be surprising. Also note this alleged bias did not preclude him to vote with the Court in Yick Wo v. Hopkins. -- Didup 19:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I can provide numerous cites to law review articles discussing his bias against the Chinese. I just thought that the text of his dissents was enough to show his prejudice. And you should note that the citizen distinction you're discussing is in sharp contrast to Yick Wo's fundemental holding that the 14th amendment applies to "persons" not "citizens". We literally just spent an entire con law class talking about Harlan's bias against the Chinese (and against blacks as well). Zpops 20:34, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

This may be of interest, and of course the full article from which the link provides a summary. Newyorkbrad 22:29, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Harlan's views on the Chinese don't seem to belong in the subheading "Plessy v. Ferguson." They are simply different court decisions, and did not directly affect one another. Infernallek 04:34, 11 December 2006 (UTC)infernallek

was the China part removed altogether — Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.108.185.200 (talk) 00:44, 27 June 2007‎ (UTC)

Error about incorporation[edit]

Error on the page. An assertion is made on the page that Harlan was the first to adopt the idea of incorporation through the due process clause, and further that his position was later adopted by Justice Hugo Black. This is incorrect. Black was an advocate for "total incorporation," that is, incorporating then entire Bill of Rights against the states. Harlan, on the other hand, was for "selective incorporation." He only wanted to apply the bill of rights when it was essential to fundamental fairness for the states. Justice CARDOZO is the one who adopted Harlan's view. Someone fix, please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.193.104.54 (talk) 20:38, 26 April 2006‎ (UTC)

Modern law degree?[edit]

What is a modern law degree? Numerous earlier justices had law degrees. Anthony717 21:47, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

There was a change in the nature of legal education in the US in the 19th century - see Juris Doctor for a lot of the details although it's light on dates. Timrollpickering (talk) 22:05, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Bot-created subpage[edit]

A temporary subpage at User:Polbot/fjc/John Marshall Harlan was automatically created by a perl script, based on this article at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. The subpage should either be merged into this article, or moved and disambiguated. Polbot (talk) 23:35, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Bot-created subpage[edit]

A temporary subpage at User:Polbot/fjc/John Marshall Harlan was automatically created by a perl script, based on this article at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. The subpage should either be merged into this article, or moved and disambiguated. Polbot (talk) 23:36, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Pace v. Alabama[edit]

Is this case really so important that it warrants being mentioned in the article introduction? It isn't even mentioned in the rest of the article, and seems to be included in the intro just as a way of saying that Harlan was really a racist, in spite of his famous dissents in the Civil Rights Cases and Plessy. john k (talk) 12:37, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Keep content on half-brother[edit]

Allyson Hobbs has written a history on passing in the US, and noted the Harlan family and Robert James Harlan's life. He did not try to pass, although he appeared to be majority white and could have. (See article on Black Past website for photo.) She suggests that the experience of having a mulatto half-brother raised and educated in the household may have influenced John Marshall Harlan's views, which he expressed in his dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson. As it was unusual for white fathers of mixed-race sons born into slavery to have them educated, it seems worthwhile to point out the circumstances of the Harlan household. JM Harlan would likely have heard of his half-brother's success in business as well.Parkwells (talk) 15:06, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Date of admittance to bar[edit]

The last paragraph in the early life and education section has Harlan earning his law degree in 1924, which is quite an accomplishment for someone who died in 1911. Sam with admittance to bar in 1925. Maybe they meant 1825? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 169.233.3.136 (talk) 01:11, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up! The material that you pointed out actually was about Harlan's grandson, John Marshall Harlan II. I removed the info. --1990'sguy (talk) 17:53, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
The article now says his father "sent John to attend law school at Transylvania University in 1853". I have my doubts about that date. Another site says he entered the university in 1850, studied there for two years, then completed his legal training in his father's law practice, and was admitted to the bar in 1853. That's different by three years. The source cited in the article is not an online source, so I cannot check what it says. —BarrelProof (talk) 23:52, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
@BarrelProof: I found another source saying the same thing and fixed the article. I could not find the book (at least the right version or pages) as well, so I just cited the other sources we found instead. --1990'sguy (talk) 19:29, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

When did Harlan's term as Attorney General end?[edit]

The infobox of this article currently states that Harlan's term ended in 1867, however according to the American National Biography Online, Harlan lost his re-election campaign for the office in 1868, making it quite unlikely that his term ended the year before. Any clarification/correction would be great, as well as for the dates in the article Attorney General of Kentucky. --1990'sguy (talk) 23:09, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

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External links modified (February 2018)[edit]

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