effect of the Fourteenth Amendment remains wholly untouched, and it may, therefore be worth while to examine briefly some of the considerations and authorities relative to it.
The first section of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Taking up the particular provisions of the amendment, two classes of restrictions are imposed, the one protecting the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, and the other ensuring to all persons due process of law and the equal protection of the laws.
The equal protection of the laws obviously requires, and has always been interpreted as requiring, only that all persons shall be treated alike without distinction, and cannot possibly be infringed by the nature of a proceeding to which all persons within the jurisdiction are equally subjected, or by a decision as to the facts in a particular case. If it were alleged that a law were disregarded A it might be an assertion of a violation of this right, but a decision made in executing a law cannot be a violation.
It has never been asserted that the privileges and immunities protected were all those that a citizen of the United States might have; that a privilege once created could never be affected by State action, as, for example, by that of the State creating it. It is only those that belong to a man because he is a citizen of the United States that are rendered inviolable; but what these privileges are has been a subject of grave divergence of opinion. It was on this point that the Supreme Court was chiefly divided in the Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36. The majority, concurring in the opinion of Mr. Justice Miller, seem to have thought that only privileges expressly created by the Constitution, more especially those political rights given by the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, were in question. On the other hand, Mr. Justice Field expressed the view, in which Mr. Justice Swayne concurred, that certain fundamental privileges and immunities, such as inhere in the citizens of all free States, rights akin to those referred to by Mr. Justice Washington in Corfield v. Coryell, 4 Wash. C. C. 371, were included; and fol-