The Waite Court (1874–88)
Why did the Waite Court hear so many Fourteenth Amendment cases?
The Waite Court heard many Fourteenth Amendment cases because of timing. The Fourteenth Amendment, as part of Reconstruction, had been ratified in 1868, a few years before the beginning of the Waite Court. Thus, the justices had to explain the meaning of due process and equal protection, as well as determine whether the Fourteenth Amendment extended certain protections in the Bill of Rights to the states.