Civil Rights

Timeline created by Saltineseaman
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    Dred Scott v. Sandford
    Dred Scott wanted to be a free man since he lived in a free territory under the Missouri Compromise. When Scott took his case to court and lost so he decided to bring a new suit to federal court and once again was denied freedom since he was considered property not a person; it was considered unconstitutional under the 5th amendment to deprive someone of their property.
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    The 13th amendment formally abolished slavery in America and served as an effective follow up of the emancipation proclamation that would end slavery for the country.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    The 14th Amendment granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves recently freed. In addition, it forbids states from denying any person "life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The 14th amendment ultimately expanded the protection of civil rights to all citizens.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    Granted African-American men the right to vote by declaring that the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    Plessy was a legally black male who tested the separate train car law of Louisiana. After being asked to leave the whites only car, Plessy refused and was arrested. This case made it to the Supreme Court where it was argued if Louisiana’s segregation policy violated the 14th Amendment. The court ruled 7-2 against Plessy, arguing that separate treatment between races did not imply inferiority of blacks. Segregation did not constitute unlawful discrimination by itself, according to the court.
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote.
  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
    There was a major debate over the idea of separate but equal facilities. Many states had a policy of separating public schools based on race, and it was argued that these differences were a direct violation of the 14th Amendment. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Brown, stating that segregation in schools violated the 14th Amendment. This was a landmark case that set a precedent of ending segregation and discrimination in the general public.
  • Affirmative Action

    Affirmative Action
    Affirmative Actions are policies that support members of a disadvantaged group. The term was coined after John F. Kennedy’s Executive Order 10925, in which it was written that government contractors must “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin”. Women and people of color are covered under these protections.
  • 24th Amendment

    24th Amendment
    Poll tax was outlawed; people were allowed to vote without paying a poll tax. The removal of poll tax allows people with lower incomes to vote.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended racial segregation, and protected the voting rights of minorities and women.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made it easier for African-Americans and non-English speaking citizens to vote. In some parts of the United States, people were forced to pay a poll tax or take a literacy test before being allowed to vote. This process kept many African-Americans from voting. The Voting Rights Act made all of those practices illegal.
  • Reed v. Reed

    Reed v. Reed
    Sally and Cecil Reed were separated parents who started a debate over who would get their deceased son’s estate. Idaho Law mandated that males must be preferred to females in civil cases, so Cecil became the admin of the estate. Sally felt cheated, and brought it to the Supreme Court. The primary issue was if Idaho violated the 14th Amendment. The supreme court ruled unanimously in Sally’s favor. This decision made it clear that the constitution now protected the rights of both sexes equally.
  • Equal Rights Amendment

    Equal Rights Amendment
    The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the constitution that seeks to end any distinction between sex in anything legal regarding divorce, property, employment, amongst many others. This amendment was introduced to congress in 1923, but still has not been ratified to date. The ERA was close to ratification in 1977, but was shut down by a conservative movement, which killed state support. There is currently a rekindled interest in this Amendment.
  • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke

    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
    Allan Bakke was a white man who applied to the University of California twice and was rejected both times. The school had a program for minorities, and reserved 16 seats per class. Bakke was more qualified than them, and said he was rejected based on race. This case raised the question if all races were protected under the 14th Amendment. The supreme court had an 8-1 decision on the side of Bakke. This case still permitted schools to have affirmative action programs to include minorities.
  • Bowers v. Hardwick

    Bowers v. Hardwick
    Michael Hardwick was caught in an act of passion with a homosexual lover by a Georgian police officer, who charged the both of them with violating Georgia’s statute that banned sodomy at the time. He felt the statute violated the implied right to privacy. The supreme court ruled in a 5-4 decision for Bowers, stating that States could ban the act of sodomy. This case proved that States had the right and ability to make laws dealing with subjects not directly dealt with in the constitution.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    Americans with Disabilities Act
    This is a law that prevents discrimination within the workplace based on disability. It aligns closely to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and simply extends the protections against discrimination to those with disabilities. This act also requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to employees with disabilities, alongside imposing accessibility requirements on public buildings.
  • Lawrence v. Texas

    Lawrence v. Texas
    John Lawrence was engaging in intimacy with another man, when police stormed his apartment. Texas had a law that forbid two persons of the same sex to engage in sexual conduct. Texas courts said that the statute was not illegal due to the precedent set in Bowers v. Hardwick. The case reached the Supreme Court and asked if the 14th Amendment protected the right to privacy, and ruled in a 6-3 decision for Lawrence, saying that the 14th Amendment allowed people to privately conduct themselves.
  • Obergefell v. Hodges

    Obergefell v. Hodges
    Same-sex couples sued their states for their bans on same-sex marriage, arguing that the 14th amendment protected them. There were two questions in this case: Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?, Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex that was legally licensed and performed in another state? The court ruled yes to both, 5-4 decision, citing the 14th Amendment.