- Slides: 30
Chapter 6 Civil Liberties
Civil Rights: Introduction • Civil Rights – Guarantees of equal opportunities, privileges, and treatment under the law that allow individuals to participate fully and equally in American society. – Generally understood as rooted in the 14 th Amendment – Describe what government must do to prevent discrimination.
Civil Rights: Introduction • Equal Protection Clause – Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment stating that states are not to deny any person equal treatment under the law.
Civil Rights: Introduction – The Thirteenth Amendment (1865) prohibits slavery within the United States. – The Fourteenth Amendment (1868) established that all persons born in the United States are citizens and no state shall deprive citizens of their rights under the Constitution. – The Fifteenth Amendment (1870) established the right of citizens to vote.
Civil Rights: History • The Civil Rights Acts of 1865 to 1875 – Aimed at the Southern states. – Attempted to prevent states from passing laws that would circumvent the amendments – Included full and equal enjoyment of public places, and penalties for interfering with any right privilege or immunity held by another citizen.
Civil Rights: History • The Civil Rights Cases (1883) - Held that the enforcement clause of the 14 th Amendment (no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens) was limited to correcting official actions taken by the states, thus meaning discriminatory actions of private citizens were legal.
Civil Rights: History • Jim Crow – System of laws that separated the races in schools, public accommodations, and other aspects of daily life.
Civil Rights: History • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) – The 14 th Amendment “could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social…equality” – Gives us the “Separate But Equal Doctrine”
Separate but Equal • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) – The 14 th Amendment “could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social…equality” – Gives us the “Separate But Equal Doctrine”
An end to Separate but Equal • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) – Segregation of races in public schools violates 14 th amendment. – Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (end of separate but equal) • “With All Deliberate Speed. ” - Order from the Supreme Court that lower courts had to ensure African Americans were being admitted to school districts “with all deliberate speed”. Lower courts were given the task of ensuring school districts were designed “on a non -racial basis”.
Civil Rights: Segregation • De facto segregation – racial segregation that occurs because of past social and economic conditions and residential racial patterns. • De jure segregation – racial segregation that occurs because of laws or administrative decisions by public agencies.
Civil Disobedience • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. • Civil Disobedience - “A nonviolent public refusal to obey allegedly unjust laws” - Also advocated by Mahatma Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau.
Civil Rights: Legislation • Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Outlawed arbitrary discrimination in voter registration – Barred discrimination in public accommodations whose operations affect interstate commerce (Examples: hotels, restaurants) – Expanded power of federal government to sue school systems into desegregation – Expanded the power of the Civil Rights Commission – Withheld federal funds from programs administered in a discriminatory manner – Established the right of equal opportunity in employment.
Civil Rights: Women’s movement • Much of the focus of the early women’s movement focused on suffrage • Suffrage - The right to vote. - Achieved with the 19 th amendment in 1920
Civil Rights: Women’s movement
Civil Rights: Women’s movement • Feminism - The movement that supports political, economic, and social equality for women.
Civil Rights: Women’s movement • Equal Rights Amendment – “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridge by the United States or by any state on account of sex” – First introduced in 1923, finally approved by both chambers in 1972 – 38 states would have to ratify, and the amendment failed to get the 38 in the seven years specified by Congress.
Civil Rights: Women’s movement • The failure of the ERA led to more targeted actions aimed at getting rid of any law or practice that allowed for gender discrimination • Gender Discrimination - Any practice, policy or procedure that denies equality of treatment to an individual or to a group because of gender.
Civil Rights: Women’s movement • Wage Discrimination – Recent figures show a woman earns 76 cents for every dollar made by a man. – The Equal Pay Act of 1963 – The Glass Ceiling
How Many Women Work, 2006 Copyright © 2009 Cengage Learning 20
Civil Rights: Other Groups • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 – Protects citizens over 40 years of age – Prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of age unless age is shown to be a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business
Civil Rights: Other Groups • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)(1990) – Public buildings and public services must be acceptable to persons with disabilities – Employers must reasonably accommodate the needs of workers or potential workers with disabilities. – Does not require the hiring of unqualified persons just because they have a disability.
Civil Rights: Other Groups • BSA v Dale 2000 • As a private organization, the Court ruled the Boy Scouts did not have to allow an openly gay man to become a scout leader.
Civil Rights: Other Groups • Lawrence v. Texas (2003) – “The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to choose to enter upon relationships in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons” – Invalidates all remaining sodomy laws
Civil Rights: Other Groups • The GLBT Community and Politics – Gay activists now play a role in both major parties. Eleven openly gay men or lesbians sit in the House.
Affirmative Action • Affirmative Action - A policy in educational admissions or job hiring that gives special attention or compensatory treatment to traditionally disadvantaged groups in an effort to overcome present effects of past discrimination. - Argument is that past discrimination makes it impossible for certain groups to compete, so affirmative action “levels the playing field”
Affirmative Action • Reverse Discrimination - Discrimination against members of a majority group.
Affirmative Action • Regents of the University of CA v. Bakke (1978) – Supreme Court decision that a rigid quota plan for admissions violates the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee but race could be considered a “plus factor” in college admissions to increase study body diversity.
Modern Civil Rights • Reasonable-Basis Test - A test applied by courts to laws that treat individuals unequally. Such a law may be deemed constitutional if its purpose is held to be “reasonably” related to a legitimate government interest. - Example: The courts have held that the goal of reducing fatalities from alcohol related involving young drivers is reason enough to uphold drinking laws that discriminate on the basis of age.
Modern Civil Rights • Strict-Scrutiny Test - A test applied by courts to laws that attempt a racial or ethnic classification. In effect, the strict-scrutiny test eliminates race or ethnicity as a legal classification when it places a minority group at a disadvantage. - A law that treats people different based on race is assumed unconstitutional unless government can provide overwhelming evidence of its necessity.