The article describes an observation made by Justice Hugo Black in the case Connecticut General Life Insurance v. Johnson in 1937. According to Black, less than one-half of 1% of the cases reaching the U.S. Supreme Court under the Fourteenth Amendment had anything to do with blacks or freed slaves, while more than 50% of cases reaching the Court were about corporations. It recounts the early civil rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and the scholarly work on civil rights and corporate history before and after reconstruction.

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