IN THE SUPREME COURT
UNITED STATES JAYCEES, and IOWA JAYCEES,
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION, Appellee.
Filed July 20, 1988
Appeal from the Iowa District
Court for Polk County, Joel D. Novak, Judge.
Appeal and cross-appeal from judicial review of agency action. REVERSED AND REMANDED.
A. Roger Witke and Kevin M. Reynolds of Whitfield, Musgrave, Selvy, Kelly & Eddy, Des Moines, and Carl D. Hall, Jr. of Nichols, Wolfe, Stamper, Nally & Fallis, Tulsa, Oklahoma, for appellants.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Rick Autry, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered en banc.
On August 13, 1982, respondent,
Cedar Rapids Jaycees, a local organization member of the United
States Jaycees, initiated this action by filing a complaint with
the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. The complaint alleged that petitioners,
United States Jaycees and Iowa Jaycees, (appellants herein had
violated the Iowa Civil Rights Act by refusing to admit women
as regular members. A hearing officer agreed with respondent's
contentions and awarded damages. This decision and damages award
was adopted by the commission and affirmed in part by the district
court on judicial review. Our review is limited to the correction
of errors at law, Iowa R. App. P. 4, and is subject to the guidelines
of our administrative procedure act, Iowa Code sections 17A.19,
The United States Jaycees
is a tax-exempt Missouri corporation headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
There are fifty state organization members, 6300 local organization
members, and approximately 263,000 individual members. Each individual
member belongs to the Jaycees International, a state organization
and a local Jaycees chapter. It is funded primarily through the
collection of membership dues and privately-sponsored programs.
It receives no federal or state funds.
The Iowa Jaycees is a tax-exempt
nonprofit Iowa corporation. It holds state organization membership
with the United States Jaycees. The corporation owns a building
in Newton, Iowa, which serves as its headquarters and is open
to anyone interested in the Jaycees. It is funded privately as
is the U.S. Jaycees, and receives no federal or state funds.
The Cedar Rapids Jaycees
is a nonprofit tax-exempt Iowa corporation. It holds local organization
membership with the state organization, the U.S. Jaycees and the
Jaycees International. It is financed as are the U.S. Jaycees
and the Iowa Jaycees. It receives no federal or state funds.
The impetus for this action
came from a decision in February 1981 by the Cedar Rapids Jaycees
to amend their bylaws admitting to full membership "young
persons" instead of "young men." Previously, membership
in the local, state and U.S. Jaycees was limited to young men
between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. After this amendment
was made, five women were admitted to membership. The U.S. and
Iowa Jaycees advised that this action was unauthorized and violated
the U. S. Jaycees' bylaws. When their discussion came to an impasse,
the U.S. Jaycees sued the Cedar Rapids Jaycees in federal court
for trademark infringement. From this action an injunction was
issued against the Cedar Rapids Jaycees that was in place from
March 6, 1984, until October 2, 1984. During this period the Cedar
Rapids Jaycees could not use the name "Jaycees" or have
the benefit of other identifying insignia.
On August 16, 1984, the
U.S. Jaycees amended its bylaws to admit women to full membership.
This action followed the upholding by the United States Supreme
Court of a Minnesota public accommodation statute as nonviolative
of the United States Jaycees' right to freedom of association
under the first amendment to the United States Constitution. See
Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609, 104 S. Ct.
3244, 82 L. Ed. 2d 462 (1984).
Thereafter, the U.S. Jaycees
filed a motion to dismiss the proceeding before the Iowa Civil
Rights Commission that was instituted by the Cedar Rapids Jaycees
in 1982. The ground for the motion to dismiss was that further
proceedings were rendered moot by the amendment to the bylaws
of the U.S. Jaycees. The hearing officer refused to dismiss the
action. Ultimately the civil rights commission awarded over $39,000
in damages to the Cedar Rapids Jaycees. These damages included
attorney fees of $21,439.68 incurred in the defense of the federal
trademark action, $4,531.80 in attorney fees incurred in the commission
action, $1000 to each of the five women admitted to membership
by the Cedar Rapids Jaycees, $5000 for loss of a potential donation
to the Cedar Rapids Jaycees and $5000 punitive damages. On appeal,
the district court reversed the punitive damages award, reversed
the award for loss of a potential donation, affirmed the award
to the women members, and remanded the award for attorney fees
indicating that these fees should be allowed in part.
Petitioners allege a number
of errors were committed in these proceedings. The first and most
basic argument they advance is that the commission, and in turn
the district court, erred by concluding that their organizations
constituted "public accommodations" within the ambit
of our civil rights act. See Iowa Code § 601A.2(10)(1981).
Because the statutory protection upon which respondent relies
specifically applies only to public accommodations, see Iowa Code
§ 601A.7 (1981), the commission's jurisdiction over this
case exists only if petitioners' organizations constitute public
accommodations within the statute. See Good v. Iowa Civil Rights
Comm'n, 368 N.W.2d 151, 154 (Iowa 1985),
Our law proscribes unfair or discriminatory practices by an owner, lessee, sublessee, proprietor, manager, or superintendent of any public accommodation. Iowa Code section 601A.7 (1981). "Public accommodation" is defined by statute as follows:
"Public accommodation" means each and every place, establishment, or facility of whatever kind, nature, or class that caters or offers services, facilities, or goods to the general public for a fee or charge provided that any place, establishment, or facility that caters or offers services, facilities, or goods to the general public gratuitously shall be deemed a public accommodation if the accommodation receives any substantial governmental support or subsidy. Public accommodation shall not mean any bona fide private club or other place, establishment, or facility which is by its nature distinctly private, except when such distinctly private place, establishment, or facility caters or offers services, facilities, or goods to the general public for fee or charge or gratuitously, it shall be deemed a public accommodation during such period.
"Public accommodation" includes each state and local government unit or tax-supported district of whatever kind, nature, or class that offers services, facilities, benefits, grants or goods to the public, gratuitously or otherwise. This paragraph shall not be construed by negative implication or otherwise restrict any part or portion of the pre-existing definition of the term "public accommodation."
Iowa Code § 601A.2(10)(1981).
Both the commission and the district court held that petitioners
were within this definition. In doing so, they relied in part
upon a federal case arising from the same facts which engendered
this action. In that case, United States Jaycees v. Cedar Raids
Jaycees, 614 F. Supp. 515 (N.D. Iowa 1985), aff'd on other
grounds, 794 F.2d 379 (8th Cir. 1986), relying upon our Good
v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission, 368 N.W.2d 151 (Iowa 1985),
the court refused to certify to this court a question which constitutes
one-half of the issue here under consideration: whether the United
States Jaycees is a public accommodation under Iowa law. 614 F.
Supp. at 516. The federal district court, finding sufficient guidance
in Good, proceeded to answer that question in the affirmative.
We do not believe, however, that Good controls the present issues. Good addressed only the issue of whether an exchange program operated by a local rotary club amounted to a "public accommodation" within our civil rights statute. 368 N.W.2d at 152, 153-54. That case did not go so far as to determine whether the rotary club itself was a public accommodation. Nor does Good discuss when a membership organization is a public accommodation.
Initially, we note the clear
distinction between the present issue and that which recently
faced the United States Supreme Court in Board of Directors
of Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte, __ U.S.
__, 107 S. Ct. 1940, 95 L. Ed. 2d 474 (1987), and Roberts v.United
States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609, 104 S. Ct. 3244, 82 L.
Ed. 2d 462 (1984). In Rotary the California Court
of Appeal had concluded that both the Rotary International and
the local affiliate there involved were "business establishment[s]"
subject to the antidiscrimination provision of
that state's Unruh Civil
Rights Act. See Rotary, __ U. S. at __ 107 S. Ct. at 1944-45,
95 L. Ed. 2d at 482; Cal. Civ. Code § 51 (West 1982). The
United States Supreme Court proceeded from that point to decide
whether the Unruh Act, as so interpreted, violated the first amendment
to the federal
constitution. In Jaycees, the Minnesota Supreme Court had held the Jaycees organization to be a "public business facility" within the ambit of that state's civil rights statute, largely because the Jaycees sells goods and extends business privileges in exchange for annual membership dues. See United States Jaycees v. McClure, 305 N.W.2d 764, 768-74 (Minn. 1981). Both Rotary Club and Roberts, therefore, presented the Court with constitutional issues arising from statutes which had been construed by state courts to apply to membership organizations. In neither case, of course, was the Court faced with the question of statutory construction. As a result of the narrow constitutional issues presented in those cases, anything said by the Court, notwithstanding its constitutional significance, is clearly neither controlling nor immediately pertinent to the present issue.
The issue here is whether
this membership organization is a "public accommodation"
and not whether a public accommodation can be operated by a membership
organization. Several courts have faced the issue of whether the
United States Jaycees comes within the parameters of similar statutes.
Each of those cases dealt with language which defined "public
accommodation' in terms of "place." See United States
Jaycees v. Richardet, 666 P.2d 1008, 1009 n.2 (Alaska 1983);
United States Jaycees v. Bloomfield, 434 A.2d 1379, 1381
(D.C. App. 1980); United States Jaycees v. Massachusetts Comm'n
Against Discrimination, 391 Mass. 594, 595 n.1, 463 N.E.2d
1151, 1152 n.1 (1984); United States Jaycees v. McClure,
305 N.W.2d 764, 766 (Minn. 1981). While lacking unanimity, the
weight of these cases is against statutory inclusion. Compare
Richardet, 666 P.2d at 1011-12 (Jaycees not within statute);
Bloomfield, 434 A.2d at 1381-83 (Jaycees not within statute);
Massachusetts Comm'n, 391 Mass. at 600-08, 463 N.E.2d at
1155-60 (Jaycees not within statute) with McClure, 305
N.W.2d at 768-74 (Jaycees within statute).
Our statute is arguably
somewhat broader than those dealt with in these cases, as it extends
to "establishment[s]" and "facilit[ies]" as
well as to "place[s]." Iowa Code § 601A.2(10)(1981).
Balanced against these linguistic additions, however, is the doctrine
of noscitur a sociis, which provides that the meanings
of statutory terms are ascertained in light of the meaning of
words with which they are associated. See, e.g., Wright v.
State Bd. of Eng'g Examiners, 250 N.W.2d 412, 413-14 (Iowa
1977). In addition, we construe nontechnical words consistent
with approved usage. Iowa Code § 4.1(2)(1981). Statutes should
be given their ordinary meaning unless defined by the legislature
or possessed of a particular and appropriate meaning in law. Eg.,
Good, 368 N.W.2d at 155.
A contrary position on this
latter canon of construction persuaded the Minnesota Supreme Court
to hold that the United States Jaycees were within the statutory
"place of public accommodation" definition in McClure.
There, the court rejected the Jaycees' definitional contentions
by stating that such an "argument substitutes a literal,
ordinary definition of 'place of public accommodation' for the
one enacted by the legislature." 305 N.W.2d at 772. Absent
a manifest contrary legislative intent, however, we are bound
by such common understandings of statutory terms. Eg., Casteel
v. Iowa Dep't of Transp., 395 N.W.2d 896, 898 (Iowa
1986). We are persuaded by the literal and ordinary definition
of the statutory term that the United States Jaycees is not a
"place" within our definition of "public accommodation."
See Webster's Third New Int'l Dictionary 1727 (1976) ("place"
defined as a "physical environment"). Similarly, we
do not think the organization is either an "establishment,"
see Plew v. James Horrabin & Co., 176 Iowa 584, 588-89,
157 N.W. 4531, 455 (1916) ('establishment' defined in terms of
"place'); Webster's Third Int'l Dictionary 778 ("a
more or less fixed and usually sizable place of business or residence
together with all the things that are an essential part of it."),
or a "facility," see Webster's Third New Int'l Dictionary
812-13 ("something (as a hospital, machinery, plumbing) that
is built, constructed, installed or established to perform some
particular function or to serve or facilitate some particular
end."). The ordinary usage of these terms connotes a spatial
dimension which the Jaycees' membership, as such, does not possess.
Moreover, we believe the
most reasonable interpretation of the statutory definition as
a whole compels us to adopt petitioners' argument. We note that
the statute which our current civil rights act replaced in 1965
confined its protection to places only. That earlier statute,
Iowa Code § 735.1 (1962), provided that
[a]ll persons within this state shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, restaurants, chophouses, eating houses, lunch counters, and all other places where refreshments are served, public conveyances, barbershops, bathhouses, theaters, and all other places of amusement.
This provision had been
a part of our jurisprudence for many years. See, e.g.,
Iowa Code § 5008 (1897). Our current statute substantially
mirrors one advocated in a 1964 law review article. See
Bonfield, State Civil Rights Statutes: Some Proposals, 49
Iowa L. Rev. 1067, 1101 (1964). Professor Bonfield suggested the
new language in order to avoid application of canons of statutory
construction which would narrow the protections available under
The essential difficulty in the coverage of this state's public accommodations statute is its unduly restricted nature. 'Having named such things as lodging houses, restaurants and places of amusement ... the expression "expressiouniusest exclusio alterius' is applicable." In other words, because the public accommodations provision specifically enumerated "all ... places where refreshments are served, public conveyances, barber shops, bathhouses . . . and all . . . places of amusement," it necessarily meant to exclude from its operation those facilities not so listed. Consequently, many kinds of establishments catering to the public generally for a pecuniary quid pro quo are left untouched by this provision; they retain an unfettered discretion to discriminate among their patrons on such bases as race, religion, or ethnic background. Among these places open to the general public for a fee that are exempt from the proscriptions of the Iowa Civil Rights Act are retail stores of all kinds, reducing salons, beauty shops, parking lots, gas stations, schools, health clinics, doctors' and dentists' offices, hospitals, banks, loan companies, lawyers' offices, real estate brokers' offices, employment agency offices, and many, many others.
There is no reason why the kinds of establishments catering to the public for a fee that are beyond the coverage of Civil Rights Act should remain so. In reconciling the conflict between the entrepreneur's freedom of association and others' rights to equal opportunity, the accommodation worked under this provision seems inadequate.
Id. at 1099. Nothing in this rationale
evinces a concern for coverage of membership organizations such
as the Jaycees.
In addition, we think an
amendment of subsection 601A.2(10), effective July 1, 1984, further
supports our conclusion that a "public accommodation"
does not include membership organizations such as the Jaycees.
See, e. g., Slockett v. Iowa Valley Community School Dist.,
359 N.W.2d 446, 448 (Iowa 1984) (statutory amendment as to minor
details casts light on legislature's earlier intent). That amendment,
with deletions struck through and additions underscored, reads
means each and every place, establishment, or facility of whatever
kind, nature, or class that caters or offers services, facilities,
or goods [to the general public] for a fee or charge to nonmembers
of any organization or association utilizing the place, establishment,
or facility, provided that any place, establishment or facility
that caters or offers services, facilities, or goods to the [general
public] nonmembers gratuitously shall be deemed a public
accommodation if the accommodation receives [any substantial]
governmental support or subsidy. Public accommodation shall not
mean any bona fide private club or other place, establishment
or facility which is by its nature distinctly private, except
when such distinctly private place, establishment, or facility
caters or offers services, facilities, or goods to the [general
public] nonmembers for fee or charge or gratuitously, it
shall be deemed a public accommodation during such period.
1984 Iowa Acts ch. 1096,
§ 1. This amendment obviously clarifies the distinction between
the "place, establishment, or facility" which qualifies
as a "public accommodation' and the .organization or association'
which uses the accommodation. In this vein, while we note the
Iowa Jaycees maintain an office in this state-a physical facility-this
case fails to allege discrimination in the use of that facility.
We hold that the United States Jaycees and the Iowa Jaycees do not qualify as "public accommodation[s] * within Iowa Code section 601A.2(10). At this point, we must recognize we are limited by the very nature of our judicial power. It is not our function to rewrite a statute. Eg., State v. Kueny, 215 N.W.2d 215, 219 (Iowa 1974). If changes in a law are desirable from a standpoint of policy or mere practicality, it is for the legislature to enact them, not for the court to incorporate them by interpretation. Eg.,State v. Wedelstedt, 213 N.W.2d 652, 656- 57 (Iowa 1983). Our conclusion today renders it unnecessary for us to address the remainder of petitioners' arguments as well as respondent's cross-appeal. We reverse this case and remand it to the agency with directions to dismiss respondent's complaint for want of jurisdiction.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.
All justices concur except Harris, J., joined by Carter, J., who concur specially, and Neuman, J., joined by Larson, Schultz, and Lavorato, JJ., who dissent, and Schultz, J., joined by Larson and Lavorato, JJ., who dissent.
HARRIS, J. (concurring).
I agree with the majority
opinion but feel obligated to write separately to respond to the
dissent. The dissent's characterization of the basis for the majority
holding strikes me as inaccurate and unfortunate.
In years past the petitioners'
organizations adhered to a membership policy which has since been
discredited. The policy is not at issue here; our question is
whether the civil rights commission had authority to assess $39,000
in damages against the Jaycees as a result of the position previously
Unless the assessment of
damages can be justified alone on our disapproval of the discredited
policy, it must be based on some recognized legal principle. The
vehicle chosen by the litigants is an Iowa statute. The controlling
question is one of legislative intent. When it adopted the Iowa
civil rights Act in 1965, did the legislature intend for the term
"public accommodation" to include member organizations,
such as the Jaycees? The statutory definition, quoted in the majority
opinion, is simply not susceptible of that interpretation.
In recognizing this, the
majority does not depart in any way from this court's long tradition
of protecting human liberties. Our present views on the social
appropriateness of that legislative decision do not bear on the
question of what the legislature intended when it enacted the
statute. Neither should our understanding of that intent be controlled
by subsequent pronouncements on what the law has since become,
which is something very different from what the legislature envisioned.
Although the dissenters may be justified in applauding the development,
they are not justified in using their approval of the change to
retroactively describe a legislative intent.
Neither is Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609, .04 S. Ct. 3244, 82 L. Ed. 2d 462 (1984), authority for interpreting Iowa's civil rights Act in contravention of its expressed wording. Roberts stands only for the proposition that the federal courts are not to interfere, on grounds of right of association under the first amendment, with a state court interpretation of its own statute. Although the first amendment does not prohibit the commission's interpretation of the statute, the plain words chosen by the legislature clearly do. This is the only "message" in the majority opinion.
Carter, J., joins this concurrence.
NEUMAN, J. (dissenting).
The majority's opinion departs so dramatically from this
court's proud history of leadership in the field of civil rights--and especially with regard to freedom from discrimination in accommodations--that I must respectfully dissent.'
The issue, of course, is
whether a membership organization like the Jaycees comes within
the ambit of "public accommodation" as defined in our
civil rights statute. I would readily concede that the term "public
accommodation" commonly connotes the "spatial dimension"
upon which the majority's narrow gaze is fixed. But I am convinced
that the legislature did not mean to confine the proscriptions
of section 601A.7 to structures built of bricks and mortar. By
its terms, the statute also prohibits the discriminatory refusal
to furnish "advantages . . . services, or privileges"
because of *race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion
or disability" by any "establishment or facility of
whatever kind, nature, or class." Iowa Code
The majority summarily dismisses
the Jaycees as an "establishment,' in apparent satisfaction
with Webster's Third International Dictionary definition
of the term as "a more or less fixed . . . place of business
or residence." I think it noteworthy that a more recent edition
of Webster's offers an appreciably different slant on the term's
common usage: something established; a settled arrangement; a
permanent civil or military organization; a place of business
or residence with its furnishings and staff-, a public or private
institution; an established order of society, e.g., a group of
social, economic, and political leaders who form a ruling class;
a controlling group; the act of establishing; the state of being
established. See Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary
Much more than a duel of
dictionaries, however, is at stake. The Minnesota Supreme Court,
interpreting a very similar civil rights statute in the identical
The national organization
contends that only if it were to "establish a business at
a physical location within the State of Minnesota, and invite
the patronage of the general public * * * "would that "place"
or "facility" constitute a place of public accommodation
under Minn. Stat. § 363.01 (18) (1980). That argument substitutes
a literal, ordinary definition of "place of public accommodation"
for the one enacted by the legislature .
Food and lodging do not exhaust the category of a "business * facility of any kind * * * whose goods, * * * privileges, [and] advantages are *** sold or otherwise made available to the public. "Leadership skills are "goods," business contacts and employment promotions are "privileges" and "advantages" and each site in the State of Minnesota where the sale of those .goods" is solicited, promoted, and consummated is unquestionably a *business facility."
United States Jaycees v. McClure, 305 N.W.2d 764, 771-72
(Minn. 1981) (citations omitted).
On the Jaycees' appeal from
the McClure decision, the United States Supreme Court affirmed
the Minnesota court's reasoning, stating:
This expansive definition reflects a recognition of the changing nature of the American economy and of the importance, both to the individual and to society, of removing the barriers to economic advancement and political and social integration that have historically plagued certain disadvantaged groups, including women. Thus, in explaining its conclusion that the Jaycees local chapters are 'place[s] of public accommodations' within the meaning of the Act, the Minnesota court noted the various commercial programs and benefits offered to members .... Assuring women equal access to such goods, privileges and advantages clearly furthers compelling state interests.
Roberts v. United States
Jaycees, 468 U.S.
609, 626, 104 S. Ct. 3244, 3254, 82 L. Ed. 2d 462, 476-77 (1984)
The majority discounts such observations as irrelevant to the question of whether, as a matter of semantics, a membership organization can be synonymous with public accommodation. But lest there be any mistake concerning the Supreme Court's attitude on the subject, we would be wise to consider the Court's 1987 decision in Board of Directors of Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte, 481 U.S._, 107 S. Ct. 1940, 95 L. Ed. 2d 474 (1987). There the Supreme Court considered a challenge to Rotary's male-only membership policy in light of California's Unruh Civil Rights Act which provides, in part:
All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.
Cal. Civ. Code § 51 (West 1982). Although the case principally focused on the Rotarians' claimed right of intimate association under the first amendment, the Court did not ignore the underlying purpose of California's antidiscrimination statute:
In Roberts we recognized that the State's compelling interest in assuring equal access to women extends to the acquisition of leadership skills and business contacts as well as tangible goods and services. The Unruh Act plainly serves this interest.
Id. at _, 107 S. Ct. at 1948, 95 L. Ed. 2d at 487 (citations omitted).
Given the opportunity of
choosing this broader view of public accommodation as a way of
pursuing "the profoundly important goal of ensuring nondiscriminatory
access to commercial opportunities in our society," see
New York State Club Ass'n, Inc. v. City of New York, __U.S.__,
__, __ S. Ct.__, __, __ L. Ed. 2d __, __, 56 U.S.L.W. 4653, 4658
(1988) (O'Connor, J. concurring), the majority chose instead to
adhere to the restrictive notion that a place is a place is a
place. We may fault the legislature for such a narrow definition,
but by failing to construe our civil rights statute "broadly
to effectuate its purposes," see § 601A. 18, the majority
has sent a message to the people of Iowa that Jaycees' and Rotary's
newly adopted, nondiscriminatory membership policies were a pointless
exercise in this state. I cannot join in ascribing to the legislature
such an unenlightened view.
Larson, Schultz, and Lavorato, JJ., join this dissent.
SCHULTZ, J. (dissenting).
I concur with Justice Neuman's dissent, but I believe that an additional point is warranted. The Iowa Civil Rights Commission concluded that the parent Jaycees were "public accommodations' as defined in Iowa Code section 601A.2(10) (1981) and therefore are subject to the antidiscrimination provisions of Iowa Code chapter 601A. We previously approved an interpretation of section 601A.2(10) by the same agency and stated "[a]lthough construction of this statute is a function of the courts, we have always held that a reviewing court should give appropriate weight to the judgment of agencies charged with the special duty of administering a particular statute." Good v. Iowa Civil Rights Comm'n, 368 N.W.2d 151, 155 (Iowa 1985) (citations omitted). The majority opinion afforded no weight to the agency interpretation and ignores this principle of statutory construction.
I would give the appropriate weight to the agency's conclusion that this statute applies to the parent Jaycees. Its interpretation coincides with the meaning of the statute as it is understood in contemporary times.
Larson and Lavorato, JJ., join this dissent.
' In 1873 we rejected
the notion that freedom from racial discrimination in riverboat
accommodations was no more than a social privilege, unprotected
by our constitution:
It cannot be doubted that [plaintiff] was excluded from the table and cabin, not because others would have been degraded and she elevated in society, but because of prejudice entertained against her race, growing out of its former condition of servitude--a prejudice, be it proclaimed to the honor of our people, that is fast giving way to nobler sentiments, and, it is hoped, will soon be entombed with its parent, slavery.
Coger v. The N. W. Union Packet Co., 37 Iowa 145, 158(1873).