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Civil Rights CIVIL RIGHTS GOVERNMENT MAY 4 – 15, 2020
Civil Rights a. The right to fair and equal treatment. b. The right to be free from discrimination. c. The right to vote, run for office, and participate in public life.
Civil Rights Legal Sources of Civil Rights a. Constitutional amendments, including the 1 st, 5 th, 13 th, 14 th, 15 th, 19 th, 24 th, and 26 th. b. Federal laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 c. Supreme Court rulings, such as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) d. State civil rights laws.
Civil Rights A Pattern of Discrimination In its history, the United States has practiced legalized discrimination toward minority groups based on prejudice, unfounded negative opinions, and racism, unfair treatment because of race. prejudice = preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
Civil Rights A Pattern of Discrimination 1. African Americans A. Forced into slavery B. Dred Scott v. Sanford • Scott sued his slaveholder’s widow for his freedom, claiming that his earlier residence in a free state and a free territory made him free.
Civil Rights Dred Scott v. Sanford • The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger Taney, ruled that Scott could NOT bring a legal suit in a federal court because African Americans, whether enslaved or free, were not United States citizens at the time the Constitution was adopted. • Therefore, they could not claim citizenship.
Civil Rights The 14 th Amendment • The Dred Scott decision caused great outrage and protest in the North and added to the tensions that led to the Civil War. • In 1868, three years after the end of the war, the 14 th Amendment to the Constitution overruled the Dred Scott decision.
Civil Rights A Pattern of Discrimination 2. Women A. Women are not a minority in the United States. They are in fact a majority group. B. They have been treated as less than equal areas that include property rights, education and employment opportunities. C. Seneca Falls convention in NY, July 19, 1848 a. Echoed the words of the Declaration of Independence in the Declaration of Sentiments.
Civil Rights A Pattern of Discrimination - Women • Even though women have achieved women’s suffrage, they still haven’t achieved other basic rights. A. They hold less than 15% of the seats of Congress and less than 25% of the seats in the State legislatures. B. They are underrepresented in the upper levels of corporate management and other power groups in the private sector. Suffrage = the right to vote in political elections.
Civil Rights A Pattern of Discrimination Women C. Fewer than 20% of the nation’s doctors, lawyers and college professors are women. D. Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires employers to pay men and women the same wages if they perform the same jobs in the same establishment under the same working conditions.
Civil Rights A Pattern of Discrimination Women E. The Civil Rights Act of 1963 prohibits job discrimination based on gender. Yet, fifty years after Congress passed those laws, working women earn, on the average, less than 80 cents for every dollar earned by working men. F. Why? 1. male workforce is better educated; 2. has more job experience.
Civil Rights A Pattern of Discrimination Women G. “Mommy track” – women put their careers on hold to have children or work reduced hours to juggle child care responsibilities. H. A “glass-ceiling” of discrimination in the corporate world and elsewhere prevents women from raising to their full potential. I. 1873: Bradwell v. Illinois – barred women from practicing law.
Civil Rights Equal Justice under the Law 1. The 14 th Amendment guarantees equal protection of the law. A. Despite attempts to protect their civil rights after the Civil War, African Americans suffered discrimination, unequal treatment, and legalized segregation. B. Women’s struggle for equal justice initially centered on the right to vote.
Civil Rights Equal Protection Clause a. The closest approach to a literal statement of equality is found in the 14 th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. “No State shall. . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ” b. This first benefited newly freed slaves, but has come to mean that the States (and their local governments) cannot draw unreasonable distinction between any classes of persons. c. When a citizen challenges a law because it violates the equal protection clause, the issue is not whether a classification can be made, but whether the classification is reasonable.
Civil Rights Tests for Determining Fairness 1. Rational Basis Test: The Supreme Court asks: “Does the classification in question bear a reasonable relationship to the achievement of some proper government purpose? ” – – It provides that the Court will uphold a state law when the state can show a good reason to justify the classification. The government must show important reasons for treating people differently. Example: Requiring only men to register with the Selective Service in preparation for any future drafts for military service.
Civil Rights Tests for Determining Fairness 2. Strict Scrutiny Test - The government must show that there is “a compelling reason” that is in the public interest. The highest standard is applied when: • a fundamental right is being restricted, or a classification is made based on race or national origin. • a classification based on race or national origin is called a suspect classification. – Courts are suspicious that these violate the equal protection clause.
Civil Rights Strict Scrutiny Test Example 1: Korematsu v. United States (1944) – Government’s compelling interest to protect the public against sabotage outweighed Korematsu’s civil rights, as well as the rights of other Japanese Americans. An example that failed to meet strict scrutiny: Example 2: Loving v. Virginia (1967) – Supreme Court struck down a Virginia law outlawing marriage between whites and African Americans. Virginia had no legitimate or compelling interest to prevent such marriages.
Civil Rights Law and Segregation after the Civil War A. Post–Civil War Laws • 13 th, 14 th, & 15 th Amendments • Many federal civil rights laws • Little effect on society • Jim Crow Laws: state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. – Aimed at increasing whites’ status at the expense of African Americans. – Ex: After slaves were freed, Texas advised freedmen to “remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness eithere or elsewhere. ”
Civil Rights Law and Segregation after the Civil War B. Racial Segregation • Progress in the South, 1865– 1877 • Compromise of 1877 led to: —Violence —Segregation: separation of racial groups
Civil Rights Law and Segregation after the Civil War C. Separate but Equal Doctrine • 1896, Plessy v. Ferguson: the case challenged Louisiana law requiring separate railway cars for whites • Allowed separate facilities so long as they were “equal”
Civil Rights Voting Rights for Women a. Women’s demand for equal rights grew out their participation in the struggle for African Americans’ rights. The main goal was women’s suffrage (right to vote). b. The Women’s Movement Begins c. Winning the Vote • 1848: Seneca Falls Convention • Early 1900 s: Suffrage effort began again • Conflict in women’s support of Fifteenth Amendment • 1920: Nineteenth Amendment • States, especially in the West, begin giving women voting rights • “The right of citizens. . . to vote shall not be denied. . . on account of sex. . . ”
Civil Rights Rolling Back Segregation Early Legal Challenges • NAACP fought to end de jure segregation (legal segregation) Example: Gaines v. Canada (1938), Sweatt v. Painter (1950) Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) • Filed on behalf of all African American students; overturned Plessy • Separate is not equal School Desegregation • Schools begin phasing out separation of groups based on race • De facto segregation (segregation in fact; reflect social and economic differences between groups)
Civil Rights Movement • The civil rights movement in the 1950 s and 1960 s led to a series of federal laws designed to guarantee civil rights of African Americans • In addition to civil rights laws, affirmative action policies attempted to address the effects of past discrimination. Key Events: – 9 African American students enter Central High School, Little Rock, AR – Rosa Parks refuses to give up seat on bus, resulting in bus boycott led by Martin Luther King Jr. , and successful suit against city of Montgomery, AL by NAACP – Nonviolent protests were strategies used by activists – Acts of civil disobedience (nonviolent refusal to obey law) common. – 1963: March on Washington – 1965: March from Selma to Montgomery; violent images led to passage of new federal civil rights laws
Civil Rights New Federal Laws Civil Rights Laws under Eisenhower • Civil Rights Act of 1957 (Civil Rights Commission) • Civil Rights Act of 1960 (voting) Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in voting, employment, public accommodations • Age added in 1967 • Under the commerce clause Effects of New Federal Laws • • • Desegregation Housing Jobs Voting Public accommodations
Civil Rights Extending Civil Rights Women Hispanics • 1963: Equal Pay Act • 1946, Mendez v. Westminster • 1972: Title IX of the Education Amendments • 1954, Hernandez v. Texas • 1975: Equal Credit Opportunity Act Native Americans • Protested to expand civil rights (Example: AIM) • Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 • 1978: American Indian Religious Freedom Act • 1973, Keyes v. Denver Unified School District People with Disabilities • 1990: Americans with Disabilities Act
Civil Rights Affirmative Action refers to government policies that directly or indirectly award jobs, government contracts, promotions, admission to schools and training programs, and other benefits to minorities and women in order to make up for past discrimination caused by society as a whole. Affirmative Action demands that preference be given to females and/or nonwhites solely on the basis of sex or race. Critics say that the Constitution requires that all public policies be “color blind. ”
Civil Rights Affirmative Action Years of past discrimination resulted in women and minorities being underrepresented in certain businesses and education. Affirmative Action aims to provide opportunities for them. Early Affirmative Action Efforts • Began in 1960 s • Late 1970 s: affirmative action controversial • Some people claimed they were victims of reverse discrimination, discrimination against the majority group Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) • Allan Bakke denied entry to medical school with quota (fixed number or percentage) of minorities needed • Supreme Court ruled university’s quota system invalid
Civil Rights Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) Allan Bakke was denied to the university’s medical school because the school had set aside 16 seats for nonwhites. Bakke sued the university charging reverse discrimination and, so, a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. By a vote of 5 – 4 majority, the court held that Bakke had been denied equal protection and should be admitted to the medical school.
Civil Rights Wrap Up: Civil Rights • Civil rights are an expansive and significant set of rights that are designed to protect individuals from unfair treatment; they are the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment (and to be free from unfair treatment or discrimination) in a number of settings -- including education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and more. • Protecting civil rights is an essential part of the democratic values of the United States; people's individual rights and freedoms are considered sacred.