Constitutional Law – Equal Protection – Damage Action for Breach of Racial Restrictive Covenant
Petitioners sued at law for breach of a racial restrictive covenant, alleging that respondent violated the covenant by conveying restricted realty without incorporating restrictions in the deed, and by permitting non-Caucasians to enter and occupy the premises. The trial court sustained a demurrer to the complaint, the California court of appeals affirmed, and hearing was denied by the state supreme court. On certiorari the United States Supreme Court held, affirmed, Chief Justice Vinson dissenting. An award of damages by a state court for breach of racial restrictive covenants would constitute state action which would deprive the excluded class of equal protection of the laws in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Barrows v. Jackson, 346 U.S. 249, 73 S.Ct. 1031 (1953).