CHAPTER 12Unequal Uses for the Bill of Rights

Of the cases in this court in which the Fourteenth Amendment was applied during its first fifty years after its adoption, less than one half of one percent invoked it in protection of the Negro race, and more than fifty percent asked that its benefits be extended to corporations.

—Justice Hugo Black, 1938

THE STATISTIC IN THIS CHAPTER’S EPIGRAPH IS SOBERING INDEED. IT SAYS corporations sought protection under the Fourteenth Amendment a hundred times more often than did the people it was intended to protect. And this is not a victimless shift—there have been real and substantial consequences. In the years following the Santa Clara decision and the cases that referred to it, companies have used their ...

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