Yick Wo v. Hopkins

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Yick Wo v. Hopkins 

118 U.S. 356 (1886), declared that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to all persons, not just citizens. The case is notable for having addressed both the rights of noncitizens and the issue of police power directed against them. Yick Wo was a Chinese immigrant who ran a small San Francisco laundry that was shut down by police for being in violation of a city ordinance against operating commercial enterprises out of wooden buildings. It was widely understood that the ordinance targeted Chinese businesses, since such businesses made predominant use of wooden construction (which was not itself prohibited). In its ruling, the Court sanctioned local authorities for arbitrary application of the law and upheld the right of citizens and noncitizens alike to appeal to the Fourteenth Amendment for protection against discrimination.

Learn More about Yick Wo v. Hopkins

Share Yick Wo v. Hopkins

Comments on Yick Wo v. Hopkins

What made you want to look up Yick Wo v. Hopkins? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!