John Marshall Harlan
John Marshall Harlan (June 1, 1833 – October 14, 1911) was a Kentucky lawyer and politician who served as an associate justice on the Supreme Court. He is most notable as the lone dissenter in the Civil Rights Cases (1883), and Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which, respectively, struck down as unconstitutional federal anti-discrimination legislation and upheld Southern segregation statutes. These dissents, among others, led to his nickname, "the Great Dissenter." He was the grandfather of John Marshall Harlan II.
- An English historian, contrasting the London of his day with the London of the time when its streets, supplied only with oil-lamps, were scenes of nightly robberies, says that "the adventurers in gas-lights did more for the prevention of crime than the government had done since the days of Alfred".
- New Orleans Gas Co. v. Louisiana Light Co., 115 U.S. 650, 658 (1885).
- But in view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful.
- Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 559 (1896).