In this article, the author demonstrates how late 19th Century writers who advocated for racial equality used the concepts of symmetry and equality, as represented in the 14th amendment, to argue that racial justice was beautiful - philosophically as well as politically, and to argue for constitutional interpretations which advanced racial justice. This is read as a species of argumentative formalism, nonetheless bearing political goals. In identifying this practice, the author hopes to enrich conversations about the conflict between abstract legal principles, and the belief that law is a product of social and political realities, as it relates to race, by demonstrating that the abstraction of law was appealing and even useful in historic struggles for racial equality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)