Racial Discrimination Cases In Texas

The legislative history of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) illustrates beyond doubt that the amendment was designed to insure that the 1866 Act's principles enjoyed constitutional validity. Following ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870), Congress passed the Enforcement Act of 1870, essentially reenacting the 1866 statute and making clear its ambit extended to nationality groups. The legislative history of major 19th century civil rights enactments "embraces, at the least, membership in a group that is ethnically ... distinctive . . . . Rambersed, 649 N.Y.S.2d at 644. The lower court's opinion in Saint Francis College demonstrated the historical connection between the Fourteenth Amendment and 1981: Section 1981 was originally enacted as part of Section 1 of the Civil Rights act of 1866, authorized by Section 2 of the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution. Because of doubts over Congress' authority to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1866, it was subsequently reenacted following the adoption of the fourteenth amendment as Section 18 of the Civil Rights Act of 1870. . . . Accordingly, Section 1981 has some ties to the fourteenth as well as to the thirteenth amendments. Al-Khazraji v. Saint Francis College, 784 F.2d 505, 515 (3rd Cir. 1986), aff'd, 481 U.S. 604, 95 L. Ed. 2d 582, 107 S. Ct. 2022 (1987); see also Chew, 527 A.2d at 349 (what Supreme Court concluded with respect to intent of framers of Civil Rights Act of 1866 would apply with equal force to intent of framers of Equal Protection Clause, who were same people dealing with same problem during same congressional session). Accordingly, the notion of "race" ought to be as broadly understood for purposes of Batson and the Equal Protection Clause as it is has been interpreted by the Supreme Court in the context of other post-civil war legislation such as Section 1981. See Saint Francis College, 481 U.S. at 613; see also Salazar v. State, 795 S.W.2d 187, 193 (Tex. Crim. App. 1990)(referring to Hispanics as "race" for purposes of establishing cognizable racial group under Batson). We hold that "race," for purposes of Batson, encompasses notions of ancestral line and ethnicity. And discrimination based on such considerations is racial discrimination under Batson.