Stephen Field's Opinion in an Early Case Concerning the Restriction of Chinese Immigration Field, Stephen J. [1816-1899]. Power of the State to Exclude Foreigners from its Limits, And to Prevent Their Landing, On Account of the Immorality of Their Past Lives, Considered: Opinion of Mr. Justice Field, Of U.S. Supreme Court, Delivered Sept. 21st, 1874, In the Case of Ah Fong, A Chinese Woman, Brought Before the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of California on a Writ of Habeas Corpus. San Francisco: Edward Bosqui & Co., Printers, 1874. 22 pp. Octavo (8-3/4" x 5-3/4"). Stab-stitched pamphlet in printed wrappers. Negligible light soiling and staining, faint creases to wrappers, minor wear to spine ends and corners, light toning to interior. A well-preserved copy. $1,250. * Only edition. The case of Ah Fong, a female Chinese immigrant, was tried in 1874 in the U.S. District Court of California. The opinion was written by Field, an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Field's opinion ruled against the California commissioner of immigration in favor of Ah Fong and other female Chinese immigrants. As a group, these women had been unfairly characterized by the immigration authorities as prostitutes. Field agreed that preventing the immigration of prostitutes was a legitimate goal, but he held that targeting a single foreign group, rather than prostitutes from all nations, was discriminatory. It also infringed on a federal treaty power. The following year, however, Field's point became moot. Congress passed the Page Act of 1875, the first United States law restricting immigration, which effectively excluded female Chinese immigrants. Not in the Harvard Law Catalogue.
Book number 69583