Shelley v. Kraemer was a landmark Supreme Court case which stated that courts could not enforce racial covenants on real estate properties.
In 1945, an African-American family (the Shelley family) purchased a home in St. Louis, Missouri. During the time of purchase, the Shelley family was unaware that a restrictive covenant had been placed on the property since 1911. This covenant barred African Americans and Mongolians from owning the property. Louis Kraemer, an individual who lived ten blocks from the purchased piece of real estate, sued the Shelley family for purchasing the property.
The Supreme Court of Missouri stated that the covenant was enforceable against the Shelly family because the covenant was a private agreement between the original owners and was enforceable on any party who purchased the land in the future.
Shelley v. Kraemer Trial:
When the Shelley v. Kraemer trial was appealed, the court considered two primary questions: are racially-based restrictive covenants legal in regards to the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and can they be enforced by the court of law?
The United States Supreme Court in Shelley v. Kraemer ruled that racially-based restrictive covenants are invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment. The court stated that private parties may voluntarily abide by the terms of the covenant, but they may not seek enforcement of such a covenant, because the courts would constitute state action. Since a state action would by nature be discriminatory, the enforcement of a racially-based covenant in a state court would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The Case Profile of Shelley v. Kraemer:
The following is a case profile of the legal trial eponymously titled ‘Shelley v. Kraemer’:
Date of the Trial: Shelley v. Kraemer was argued on January 15, 1948
Legal Classification: Administrative Law; this legal field associated with events and circumstances in which the Federal Government of the United States engages its citizens, including the administration of government programs, the creation of agencies, and the establishment of a legal, regulatory federal standard
United States Reports Case Number: 334 U.S.
Date of the Delivery of the Verdict: Shelley v. Kraemer was decided on May 3, 1948
Legal Venue of Shelley v. Kraemer: The United States Supreme Court
Judicial Officer Responsible for Ruling: Chief Justice Fred Vinson
Involved Parties: The following are the parties named with regard to their involvement in the Shelley v. Kraemer case:
Plaintiff: Shelley Family, Defendant: The state of Missouri and property owner Louis Kraemer
Verdict Delivered: The United States Supreme Court in Shelley v. Kraemer ruled in favor of the plaintiff b stating that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a state from enforcing restricting covenants on the basis of race or color.
Associated Legislation with regard to Shelley v. Kraemer: The following statutory regulations were employed with regard to the Shelley v. Kraemer trial:
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.