Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948) (LandMark Publication)
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Photo by Gerald L. The Shelleys appealed to the United States Supreme Court, asserting that they were denied equal protection of the laws, deprived of property without due process, and denied the privileges and immunities due the citizens of the United States. The court noted that, in and of themselves, the restrictions could not be considered to be in violation of any of those rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment because there was no action on the part of the state.
However, the enforcement of the restrictive covenants by the state courts created the state action necessary to bring this issue squarely under the purview of the Fourteenth Amendment. Thus, because the state court judicially enforced the agreements, the states had effectively denied the Shelleys equal protection of the laws.
The Court found it unnecessary to address the other Fourteenth Amendment issues. The home at the center of the controversy, the Shelley House , was designated as a National Historic Landmark on December 14, because of its historic and social significance in the civil rights movement.
It remains as a symbol of the fight to achieve equality and stands as a reminder that all persons, without restriction by the states or the federal government, have the right to own property. Although the house at Labadie Avenue in St. Louis is a National Historic Landmark, it is currently privately owned and not open to the public. Law Day, which is observed annually on May 1st, is a national day dedicated to celebrating the rule of law. This year's theme is the 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy. The exhibit will be on display in the Law Library lobby until May 31st. Included along with the exhibit are winning entries from the Houston Bar Association Law Day poster and essay contests.
To coincide with the 14th Amendment theme, we are promoting the civil rights legal resources in our collection.
Treatises, law journals, and other secondary sources on civil rights and civil liberties will be featured throughout the library all month long as part of Civil Rights Law Resource Month. The Supreme Court held "that the [racially] restrictive agreements, standing alone, cannot be regarded as violative of any rights guaranteed to petitioners by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Because such state action would be discriminatory, the enforcement of a racially based restrictive covenant in a state court would therefore violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court rejected the argument that since state courts would enforce a restrictive covenant against white people, judicial enforcement of restrictive covenants would not violate the Equal Protection Clause. The court noted that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees individual rights, and that equal protection of the law is not achieved by the imposition of inequalities:.
We have no doubt that there has been state action in these cases in the full and complete sense of the phrase. The undisputed facts disclose that petitioners were willing purchasers of properties upon which they desired to establish homes. The owners of the properties were willing sellers, and contracts of sale were accordingly consummated. It is clear that, but for the active intervention of the state courts, supported by the full panoply of state power, petitioners would have been free to occupy the properties in question without restraint.
These are not cases, as has been suggested, in which the States have merely abstained from action, leaving private individuals free to impose such discriminations as they see fit.
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Rather, these are cases in which the States have made available to such individuals the full coercive power of government to deny to petitioners, on the grounds of race or color, the enjoyment of property rights in premises which petitioners are willing and financially able to acquire and which the grantors are willing to sell. The difference between judicial enforcement and nonenforcement of the restrictive covenants is the difference to petitioners between being denied rights of property available to other members of the community and being accorded full enjoyment of those rights on an equal footing.
Three justices— Robert H. Jackson , Stanley Reed and Wiley B. Rutledge —recused themselves from the case because they owned property subject to restrictive covenants. Hurd v. Hodge and Urciolo v. Hodge  were companion cases from the District of Columbia.
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In , Jeffrey S. Kraemer ,  a literary nonfiction account of events leading up to the Shelley v. Kraemer case. In , a documentary film was made titled "The Story of Shelley v. Louis,"  at the Missouri History Museum in St. The film was also nominated for the Sundance Film Festival.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. United States Supreme Court case. National Park Service. Retrieved June 11, Maryland Law Review. Harvard Law Review. As quoted in Waxman, Seth. Indiana Law Journal. Paragon House. United States Fourteenth Amendment case law.dubgolithy.tk
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Casey Lawrence v. Texas Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt In , an African-American family by the name of Shelley purchased a house in St. Louis , Missouri. At the time of purchase, they were unaware that a restrictive covenant had been in place on the property since The restrictive covenant barred "people of the Negro or Asian Race" from occupying the property. Louis Kraemer, who lived ten blocks away from the purchased housing, sued to restrain the Shelleys from taking possession of the property they had purchased.
The Supreme Court of Missouri held that the covenant was enforceable against the purchasers because the covenant was a purely private agreement between the original parties thereto, which "ran with the land" and was enforceable against subsequent owners; since the restriction purported to run in favor of an estate rather than merely a person, it could be enforced against third parties.
A materially similar scenario took place in the companion case McGhee v. Sipes from Detroit, Michigan , where the McGhees purchased land subject to a similar restrictive covenant. The Supreme Court consolidated the two cases for oral arguments. The Court considered two questions: are racially-based restrictive covenants legal under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution , and can they be enforced by a court of law? The United States Supreme Court held "[T]he restrictive racially-based restrictive covenants are not, on their face, invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Since such state action would necessarily be discriminatory, the enforcement of a racially-based restrictive covenant in a state court would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
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The court rejected an argument that since state courts would enforce a restrictive covenant against white persons, judicial enforcement of restrictive covenants would not be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The court noted that the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed individual rights, and equal protection of the law is not achieved with the imposition of inequalities. The United States Solicitor General , Philip Perlman , who argued in this case that the restrictive covenants were unconstitutional, had previously in as the city solicitor of Baltimore acted to support the city government's segregation efforts.