Vanderbilt Law Review

Article Title

Constitutional Law


Paul H. Sanders

First Page



The Supreme Court of Tennessee has been faced with few major Constitutional Law problems during the period under consideration. Statistically, the action of the Court in invalidating one law out of almost a score that were attacked before it on the basis of constitutional defect suggests an attitude of judicial restraint toward the product of a coordinate branch of government. The relatively small number of constitutional questions raised-- and many of them were obviously make-weight rather than points of principal reliance-- suggests a general awareness of the Court's stability and the unlikelihood of its departing from established precedent. Similarly, regard for the precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson, with its "separate but equal" doctrine, was a major factor in the decision of two federal district courts in Tennessee involving alleged deprivation of constitutional rights in the furnishing of educational and recreational facilities to Negroes. It was not a year for the expansion or contraction of doctrines of constitutionality previously established, although in one instance at least it appears that some "new law" was made.