The Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution provides, in part, that “[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” This “Privileges or Immunities Clause” has been called “the darling of the professoriate.” Indeed, in the last decade alone, law professors have published dozens of articles treating the provision. The focus of this particular study is the interpretation of the “privileges and immunities of citizens” offered by American political actors, including not only judges, but also elected officials and private citizens, before the Fourteenth Amendment, and primarily, on the eve of the Civil War.



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