The women appealed the decision to deport them. The California High Court upheld the constitutionality of the statute used to deny them entry and upheld their deportation. The women appealed the decision and won their freedom. One of the women, Chy Lung, was the plaintiff in the first case with a Chinese litigant to appear before the United States Supreme Court, and win. In Chy Lung v. Freeman, 92 U.S. 275 (1876), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the power to set rules surrounding immigration rested with the United States Federal Government rather than with the states.
Interesting, no one knows what happened to the 22 "lewd and debauched" women after they were allowed to enter the U.S. Although most of them claimed they were going to join their husbands, it was suspected that some, if not all, were indeed prostitutes.
In 2014, Judge Denny Chin, the circuit court judge who in 2009 sentenced sentenced Bernie Madoff, to 150 years imprisonment for his defrauding clients of their fortunes, arranged for the enactment of a courtroom trial about the historic case. It was the first Supreme Court case with a Chinese litigant, and also one where the court ruled in favor of the litigant at a time when sentiment against Chinese and immigration was rising in the 1870s.
A performance using trial transcripts, "22 Lewd Chinese Women: Chy Lung v. Freeman," was created by The Trial Reenactment Team of the Asian American Bar Association in collaboration with the New York City Bar Association on May 21, 2014, to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
A second re-enactment of the trial was sponsored by a Washington, D.C. legal firm, McDermott Will & Emery.