The Waite Court (1874–88)

Racial Discrimination/civil Rights

Why did Cruikshank prevail before the U.S. Supreme Court?

The Court essentially ruled that the responsibility of law enforcement in this matter lay with state and local government officials, rather than federal investigators. The Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Waite, reasoned that the indictments “do not contain charges of a criminal nature made indictable under the laws of the United States.”


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