Constitutionality of acts of New York and Massachusetts imposing a tax upon passengers coming into the ports of those states. Cases of George Smith, plaintiff in error, vs. William Turner, health commissioner of the port of New York, in error to the Court for the trial of impeachments and correction of errors of the state of New York, and James Norris, plaintiff in error, vs. The city of Boston, in error to the Supreme judicial court of Massachusetts.
This legal case probes the intent and scope of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The justices give a broad defense of individual civil rights as protected from infringement by state laws (the case involves business regulations in Louisiana, not race relations).