The Slaughterhouse Cases, Bradwell v. Illinois, and Cruikshank v. United States, which were all decided between 1873 and 1876, were the first cases in which the Supreme Court interpreted the 14th Amendment. The reasoning and holdings of the Supreme Court in those cases have affected constitutional interpretation in ways which are both profound and unfortunate. The conclusions that the Court drew about the meaning of the 14th Amendment shortly after its adoption were contrary to the intent of the framers of that Amendment and a betrayal of the sacrifices which had been made by the people of that period. In each case the Court perverted the meaning of the Constitution in ways that reverberate down to the present day.
Akron Law Review
Wilson Huhn, Legacy of Slaughterhouse. Bradwell, and Cruikshank in Constitutional Interpretation, 42 Akron Law Review 1051 (2009).