Important Decision – The Ohio Black Law Declared Unconstitutional.
The Court of Common Pleas for Cuyahoga County, through Judge FOOTE, this morning, delivered an important decision. At the last election FREEMAN H. MORRIS, tailor, of this city, and having about one-fourth negro blood in his veins, presented himself at the First Ward voting place and was barred from voting on account of his negro blood. Action was brought against the judges of election, SANBORN, CHRISTIAN AND GARRETT, for illegally rejecting the vote. They pleaded in defence the recent action of the Legislature, rejecting the vote of every person having any negro blood in his veins.
The case was made up and submitted to the court. This morning, Judge FOOTE declared for the plaintiff, declaring the “Black Law” to be unconstitutional. The Court held that under the old Constitution of Ohio all persons having more than half white blood were declared to be legally white. The new Constitution merely mentioned “white persons,” without defining what constituted a white person, consequently the definition of a white person contained in the old Constitution remained in force, and any law declaring a person having more than half white blood to be a negro must of necessity be unconstitutional.