Civil Rights

By fiferdc
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    Dred Scott v. Sandford
    Dred Scott v. Sandford was a landmark case in the Tawney Court. The Dred Scott Decision, as decided by the US Supreme Court, stated that slaves and their descendents were not protected by the Constitution, could never become legal US citizens, that Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery, and that slaves could not be removed from their owners without due process. The decision also held that slaves, since they were not citizens, did not have the power to sue.
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    The 13th Amendment was a product of the emancipation proclamation. It declared that slavery as well as involuntary servitude are illegal. This was the first of the reconstruction amendments.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    The fourteenth amendment was the second of the reconstruction amendments. It gave citizenship to slaves and overruled the Dred Scott decision. Included within the amendment was the due process clause and the equal protection clause. Most importantly, it allowed for the Amendments to be applicable to the states.
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    Poll Taxes

    Poll taxes were enacted after the ratification of the fifteenth amendment. In order to discriminate against former slaves, a tax was attached to voting in Southern states. While this prohibited poor people from voting, a Grandfather clause allowed white males to vote if their grandfather was able to vote. The twenty-fourth amendment formally abolished this tax.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    The fifteenth amendment was another of the reconstruction amendments. It made it illegal for anyone to be deprived the right to vote due to race, color, or previous servitude. This finally gave former slaves the right to vote; however, many institutions were set up to prohibit former slaves from voting.
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    White Primaries

    White primaries were primarily founded in the South, where they attempted to combat the fifteenth amendment by denying African Americans the right to vote in primaries. By doing this, nominees that African Americans would not favor would thus become the candidates they could vote for. The Supreme Court ruled this practice unconstitutional.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    Homer Plessy, who was 7/8 Caucasian, sat down in the White-only section of a bus. He was asked to move, refused, and was arrested. In a ruling of 7-1, the Supreme Court favored Ferguson. Their ruling stated as long as the separate facilities were equal, they upheld the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    The nineteenth amendment ensures women the right to vote. It was passed under the Woodrow administration, having been rejected in the Senate once. In order to obtain women suffrage, women discouraged voters from voting for anti-suffragist candidates.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    Up until this point, schools had been segregated, minorities being separated from the white majority. The overlying rule of “Separate But Equal” allowed this to occur, as long as facilities, staff, etc. were equal. As unanimously decided by the Supreme Court, this violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and thus nullified the “Separate But Equal” decision of Plessy v. Ferguson.
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    Affirmative Action

    As a way to atone for past discrimination, the policy of Affirmative Action was put into effect. The policy takes all forms of discrimination – race, sex, color, disabilities, etc. – and puts these discriminated people in positions that non-discriminated people are in. That is to say, a minority member will be selected over a majority member where there is equality in skill and talent. The policy has gone wild over the years and minorities are being hired without an advantage.
  • 24th Amendment

    24th Amendment
    The twenty-fourth amendment abolished any form of payment, including poll taxes, which inhibit people from their right to vote. This gave former slaves some protection when voting.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 declared voter registration discrimination as well as racial segregation in school, the workplace, etc. as illegal. The act nullified the Jim Crow laws of the South. Congress, in accordance with the Interstate Commerce Clause, was able to enforce this act and guarantee citizens equal protection and voting rights.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    The voting rights act ended racial discrimination in voting. The act formally ended voting qualifications or prerequisites that would impede citizens, like African Americans, from voting. More specifically, it ended the literacy tests and the grandfather clause.
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    Equal Rights Amendment

    The ERA was an attempted legislation to guarantee women equal rights (more precisely, sex could not deny one of equal rights). Alice Paul had believed that the 19th amendment alone could not guarantee equal rights for women and thus helped form the ERA. The ERA failed to obtain the necessary amount of states required for it to become an official amendment, even with its ratification extension.
  • Reed v. Reed

    Reed v. Reed
    Sally and Cecil’s Reed’s adopted son died. In accordance with Idaho Probate Code, males were to be given precedence in becoming administrators of estates; that is, Cecil was to be given preference over Sally in gaining control over their son’s estate. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that this code violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth amendment.
  • Regents of University of California v. Bakke

    Regents of University of California v. Bakke
    Allan Bakke applied to the School of Medicine at the University of California two years, each time rejected. He found out that certain applicants, applicants of minority races, were admitted with lower scores than Bakke. He took his concern to state court, stating that his fourteenth amendment right of equal protection as well as the Civil Right Act of 1964, had been violated. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor 5-4.
  • Bowers v. Hardwick

    Bowers v. Hardwick
    Michael Hardwick was given a ticket for throwing a beer bottle out of the gay bar he worked at. The officer that gave him the ticket, Officer Torick, later obtained a warrant for arrest, for Hardwick hadn’t showed up at court. Torick caught Hardwick having oral sex in his apartment, which was against Georgia law. The Supreme court ruled 5-4 in favor of upholding the Georgia law.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    Americans with Disabilities Act
    After the passage of the Civil Rights Act, disabled Americans were still facing discrimination. In order to obtain the necessary protection, the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed; an amendment act was passed latter giving disabled Americans more freedom. Disabilities, as defined by the ADA, are considered any physical or mental impairment limiting a major function of life. The act requires facilities to have necessary accommodations for disabled people to use them properly.
  • Lawrence v. Texas

    Lawrence v. Texas
    In a ruling of 6-3, the Supreme Court overthrew the decision in Bowers v. Hardwick and declared that there is an implied right to privacy in the Constitution. Under the fourteenth amendments’ due process clause, consensual sexual conduct was considered a protected liberty. Gay rights advocates saw this as the beginning to legislation being passed in their favor.