„Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.“

1890s, Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Contexto: In view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved.

Citações relacionadas

John Marshall Harlan photo
Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

„As there can be no second class citizens before the law of America, so—we believe—there can be no second-class nations before the law of the world community.“

—  Dwight D. Eisenhower American general and politician, 34th president of the United States (in office from 1953 to 1961) 1890 - 1969

1950s, Address at the Philadelphia Convention Hall (1956)
Contexto: The right of no nation depends upon the date of its birth or the size of its power. As there can be no second class citizens before the law of America, so—we believe—there can be no second-class nations before the law of the world community.

William O. Douglas photo
Frederick Douglass photo

„[T]he Constitution of the United States knows no distinction between citizens on account of color.“

—  Frederick Douglass American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman 1818 - 1895

1860s, Reconstruction (1866)

Calvin Coolidge photo

„During the war 500,000 colored men and boys were called up under the draft, not one of whom sought to evade it. They took their places wherever assigned in defense of the nation of which they are just as truly citizens as are any others. The suggestion of denying any measure of their full political rights to such a great group of our population as the colored people is one which, however it might be received in some other quarters, could not possibly be permitted by one who feels a responsibility for living up to the traditions and maintaining the principles of the Republican Party. Our Constitution guarantees equal rights to all our citizens, without discrimination on account of race or color. I have taken my oath to support that Constitution.“

—  Calvin Coolidge American politician, 30th president of the United States (in office from 1923 to 1929) 1872 - 1933

1920s, Letter to Charles F. Gardner (1924)
Contexto: Leaving out of consideration the manifest impropriety of the President intruding himself in a local contest for nomination, I was amazed to receive such a letter. During the war 500,000 colored men and boys were called up under the draft, not one of whom sought to evade it. They took their places wherever assigned in defense of the nation of which they are just as truly citizens as are any others. The suggestion of denying any measure of their full political rights to such a great group of our population as the colored people is one which, however it might be received in some other quarters, could not possibly be permitted by one who feels a responsibility for living up to the traditions and maintaining the principles of the Republican Party. Our Constitution guarantees equal rights to all our citizens, without discrimination on account of race or color. I have taken my oath to support that Constitution. It is the source of your rights and my rights. I propose to regard it, and administer it, as the source of the rights of all the people, whatever their belief or race.

John Knox photo

„But hereof be assured, that all is not lawful nor just that is statute by civil laws; neither yet is everything sin before God, which ungodly persons allege to be treason.“

—  John Knox Scottish clergyman, writer and historian 1514 - 1572

John Knox pastoral, as quoted in The Breakers of the Yoke: Sketches and Studies of the Men ... by J. S. MacIntosh, p. 303

Lyndon B. Johnson photo
James A. Garfield photo
Henry Wilson photo

„The idea which pervades our Constitution; that all men of every race are equal before the laws.“

—  Henry Wilson Union Army officer, Vice president, politician, historian 1812 - 1875

Fonte: Speech (June 1853), p. 79

Abraham Lincoln photo

„I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness, in what respects they did consider all men created equal; equal in "certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

This they said, and this meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor yet, that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere. The assertion that "all men are created equal" was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the Declaration, nor for that, but for future use. Its authors meant it to be, thank God, it is now proving itself, a stumbling block to those who in after times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant when such should re-appear in this fair land and commence their vocation they should find left for them at least one hard nut to crack. I have now briefly expressed my view of the meaning and objects of that part of the Declaration of Independence which declares that "all men are created equal".
1850s, Speech on the Dred Scott Decision (1857)

Joseph Hayne Rainey photo
John F. Kennedy photo
David Cameron photo

„For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.“

—  David Cameron Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1966

Planned speech to the National Security Council — Various sources (e.g. The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/13/counter-terrorism-bill-extremism-disruption-orders-david-cameron, BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32714802) (13 May 2015)
2010s, 2015

Immanuel Kant photo
Bob Barr photo

„Clearly, the court today has ignored the constitutional right and responsibility of Congress to pass laws protecting citizens from dangerous and addictive narcotics…“

—  Bob Barr Republican and Libertarian politician 1948

Press release (28 March 2002), as quoted in "Barr to Continue Fight Against Drug Legalization" http://www.mpp.org/legislation/dc/bills/barr-to-continue-fight-against-drug-legalization.html, MPP.
2000s, 2002

Abraham Lincoln photo

„It is the duty of every government to give protection to its citizens, of whatever class, color, or condition, and especially to those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public service. The law of nations and the usages and customs of war as carried on by civilized powers, permit no distinction as to color in the treatment of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell or enslave any captured person, on account of his color, and for no offence against the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism and a crime against the civilization of the age.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

Order of Retaliation http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln6/1:755?rgn=div1;view=fulltext (30 July 1863); quoted in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 7 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953), p. 357
1860s
Contexto: It is the duty of every government to give protection to its citizens, of whatever class, color, or condition, and especially to those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public service. The law of nations and the usages and customs of war as carried on by civilized powers, permit no distinction as to color in the treatment of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell or enslave any captured person, on account of his color, and for no offence against the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism and a crime against the civilization of the age. The government of the United States will give the same protection to all its soldiers, and if the enemy shall sell or enslave anyone because of his color, the offense shall be punished by retaliation upon the enemy's prisoners in our possession. It is therefore ordered that for every soldier of the United States killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldier shall be executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the public works and continued at such labor until the other shall be released and receive the treatment due to a prisoner of war

Louis Brandeis photo
Nelson Mandela photo

„In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions.
In the absence of these safeguards the phrase 'equality before the law', in so far as it is intended to apply to us, is meaningless and misleading.“

—  Nelson Mandela President of South Africa, anti-apartheid activist 1918 - 2013

1960s, First court statement (1962)
Contexto: In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions.
In the absence of these safeguards the phrase 'equality before the law', in so far as it is intended to apply to us, is meaningless and misleading. All the rights and privileges to which I have referred are monopolized by whites, and we enjoy none of them. The white man makes all the laws, he drags us before his courts and accuses us, and he sits in judgement over us.

John Ireland (bishop) photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“