The Fuller Court (1888–1910)

Racial Discrimination

CourtSpeak: Chae Chan Ping v. United States Reentry Case (1889)

Justice Stephen Field (majority): “Whatever license, therefore, Chinese laborers may have obtained, previous to the act of October 1, 1888, to return to the United States after their departure, is held at the will of the government, revocable at any time, at its pleasure. Whether a proper consideration by our government of its previous laws, or a proper respect for the nation whose subjects are affected by its action, ought to have qualified its inhibition, and made it applicable only to persons departing from the country after the passage of the act, are not questions for judicial determination.”


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