Buchanan v. Warley and Housing Segregation (1916)

Racially restrictive covenants were contracts imposed on property deed owners that restricted them from selling their homes and property to Black Americans. This was a common practice in the first half of the 1900s and prevented Black owners from moving into White neighborhoods. On November 5, 1917, the Supreme Court case, Buchanan v. Warley, decided that Louisville’s ordinance prohibiting White property owners from selling to Blacks because they were not permitted to live on a majority white block was unconstitutional. Buchanan, the White homeowner, was trying to sell his home in Louisville, Kentucky, to Warley, a Black man. However, the city’s ordinance prevented him from doing so. Buchanan then sued Warley, who argued that the city’s law prevented him from completing the purchase. The case went to the Supreme Court after Buchanan argued that the restriction on would-be Black homeowners violated the Due Process clause from the 14th Amendment. The Supreme Court sided with him and determined that Louisville’s ordinance violated due process. 


Watch here on youtube



Share this page:

Copyright ©2024 Smithfield Community Association

PO Box 6, Peterboro, NY 13134

‭(315) 308-1890‬