Plessy argued that the state law which required East Louisiana Railroad to segregate trains had denied him his rights under the 13th and 14th amendments. He had equal right to occupy the same seat as a "white" passenger, since he purchased a ticket for that car.
The state of Louisiana passed a law saying that whites and blacks had to ride in separate cars on trains, but required that the trains cars be "equal". In 1892, Home Adolph Plessy, who was one-eight black (meaning that one of his eight great-grandparents was black) was arrested for riding in a whites-only car. He refused to move to the car reserved for blacks and was arrested.
ARGUMENTS FOR THE RESPONDENT
Louisiana laws required whites and blacks to ride in separate trains, this did not harm blacks in any ways. Therefore, Plessy did not comply with state mandated laws and failed to sit in car for blacks.
Is Louisiana's law mandating racial segregation on its trains an unconstitutional infringement on both the privileges and immunities and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment?
The Supreme Court, in a 7-1 decision ruled that the Louisiana law was valid. Requiring whites and blacks to ride in separates trains did not harm blacks in any way.