[Click here for Episode 1. And click here for Episode 2.]

The Privileges or Immunities Clause was meant to be one of the key liberty-protecting provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Clause says: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” That sounds like a big deal, right? It’s not. The Clause has been virtually read out of the Constitution, and for people trying to vindicate their civil rights in court, it’s been of little practical use. That story—the near redaction of the Clause—begins with the Slaughterhouse Cases, which the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1873.

On Episode Three of Bound By Oath: What rights were the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment seeking to protect through the Privileges or Immunities Clause? And what happened to the Clause?

Click here for transcript.

Click for iTunesSpotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher.


Chris Green, University of Mississippi School of Law

Randy Barnett, Georgetown Law

With appearances by:

Kurt Lash, University of Richmond School of Law

Aderson Francois, Georgetown Law

Martha Jones, Johns Hopkins University

Josh Blackman, South Texas College of Law Houston

Sheldon Gilbert, National Constitution Center


C-SPAN Coverage of Professor Barnett’s talk on Slaughterhouse at the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society.

C-SPAN Coverage of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Georgetown Law Center’s mock retrial of Bradwell v. Illinois.

Bench Memo for the Re-argument of The Slaughter-House Cases, by Nicholas Mosvick

The Slaughterhouse Cases: Regulation, Reconstruction, and the Fourteenth Amendment, by Ronald M. Labbé and Jonathan Lurie

Equal Citizenship, Civil Rights, and the Constitution: The Original Sense of the Privileges or Immunities Clause, by Chris Green

Interracial Marriage and the Original Understanding of the Privileges or Immunities Clause, by David Upham

From Antislavery Lawyer to Chief Justice: The Remarkable but Forgotten Career of Salmon P. Chase, by Randy Barnett

Recent Episodes

Public Purpose | Season 3, Ep. 8

In 2005, in the case of Kelo v. New London, the Supreme Court allowed officials to seize and raze an entire neighborhood of well-maintained homes […]

Listen Now

The Despotic Power | Season 3, Ep. 7

On this episode: Berman v. Parker, the Supreme Court’s decision in 1954 to abandon previous constitutional limits on the government’s power to take property from […]

Listen Now

This is Mine | Season 3, Ep. 6

On this episode, we take a break from case law and go way back to the beginning to examine the origins and justifications of private […]

Listen Now