U.S. Supreme Court
Jones v. Jones, 234 U.S. 615 (1914)
Jones v. Jones
Argued April 30, 1914
Decided June 22, 1914
234 U.S. 615
The statute of Tennessee of 1865, c. 40, § 8, declaring that children of slave marriages should be legitimately entitled to inherit, as it has been construed by the highest court of that state as not extending the right of inheritance beyond lineal descendants of the parents, is not unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Inheritance is not a natural or absolute right, but the creation of statute, and is governed by the lex rei sitae.
The rights of one claiming real property as heir, through an alien, a bastard or a slave, must be determined by the local law. Blythe v. Hinckley, 180 U. S. 333.
While a colored freedman in Tennessee could dispose of property acquired during freedom by deed or will and it descended to his issue, if any, if he died intestate, if no issue survived, it passed under the terms of the Act of 1865 to his widow, if she survived, and not to his collateral relatives.
The facts, which involve the construction and constitutionality under the Fourteenth Amendment of certain provisions of the laws of Tennessee in regard to the descent of real property, are stated in the opinion.