100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Fong Yue Ting

Fong Yue Ting

The Chinese Campaign for Civil Rights

“It is a Cruel Law. It is a Bad Law.”

Fong Yue Ting v. United States

149 U.S. 698 (1893)

On May 6, 1893, Fong Yue Ting, Wong Quan, and Lee Joe became the main litigants in what would become a landmark Supreme Court decision in immigration and constitutional law. That was the day U.S. Marshal John W. Jacobus arrested them for failure to comply with the Geary Act of 1892, which required all resident Chinese laborers to register with the government. The same day, Judge Addison Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the three Chinese resident aliens to be deported, but they were released by the circuit court pending an ...

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