LAW 532-001 – Constitutional Law II

Private Discrimination


The U.S. Constitution does not prevent private racial discrimination, so neither state nor the federal governments have a duty to outlaw it.

States can outlaw private discrimination under their police powers however, and the federal government can under the commerce clause.

States can enforce private racially restrictive covenants of the sale of property, but they do not have to.

States can generally repeal anti-discrimination laws, but they may not be able to if it is seen as intending to authorize racial discrimination.

Political Process Doctrine

If a higher level of government repeals a lower government's anti-discrimination law, the political process doctrine declares such repeal unconstitutional because it forces the people discriminated against to go to a higher level of government to get protection.