Slaughterhouse Cases

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A 1873 U.S. Supreme Court decision, 83 US 36, on a series of cases in which the Court expressed its first interpretation of the privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The court interpreted this clause as protecting the rights people have by virtue of their US citizenship, not by virtue of their citizenship of a state.  It then defined the rights of US citizens narrowly, excluding civil rights.  The dissents, and modern critics of the case, say that this effectively rendered the clause meaningless.