Wali R. Kharif


Equality of protection under the laws, as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, implies that in the administration of criminal justice no person, by reason of his race or color, shall be subjected for the same offense to any greater or different punishment than that to which persons of another race or color are subjected. It also suggests that all citizens are entitled to protection of their civil rights and against discriminatory practices based upon race, color, creed, or religion. Unfortunately, in October 1883 when the United States Supreme Court declared the Civil Rights Acts of 1875 unconstitutional, the legislative framework requiring states to provide for civil rights in public places of accommodation and transportation was dismantled. It further had the effect of nullifying the civil rights act passed by Florida lawmakers in 1873.