Like other men before and after his time, John Marshall Harlan of Kentucky left his imprint on the law. Nearly 34 years on the Supreme Court of the United States gave Harlan ample opportunity to express his opinions on a host of legal questions. Sitting on the high bench as he did from 1877 to 1911, public problems passed before him for review in the form of litigation. During that post-Civil War period as today there was discrimination against the Negro in American society. Despite the constitutional guaranties of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, Negroes were not accorded the equality of the laws to which they have been entitled as citizens of the United States. It has taken decades of struggle to achieve for the Negro even partial equality under the law. The battle for full equality is not ended, of course; it continues today.
David G. Farrelly,
A Sketch of John Marshall Harlan's Pre-Court Career,
10 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol10/iss2/3