Civil Rights Timeline

  • Dred Scott v. Sanford

    Dred Scott v. Sanford
    Dred Scott was a slave that had escaped from the south and lived within Illinois, which was a free state, for two years. He then returned to Missouri and filed a suit for his freedom in the Missouri courts saying that he was a free man because he had lived within free territory. The courts concluded that he was not officially a US citizen because of his slave history and that he did not have the right to sue in federal court.
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    The 13th amendment states that slavery or involuntary servitude was unconstitutional, unless it was a punishment from a convicted crime.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    The 14th amendment states that anyone who is born/naturalized within the United States is a citizen of the US and of the state that they live within and that no state jurisdiction could deprive anyone of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    The 15th amendment states that any US citizen shall not be refused the right to vote no matter what their race, color, or if they have a history of slavery/servitude.
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    Poll Taxes

    Poll Taxes were essentially a voting fee that was aimed specifically at prohibiting African Americans from voting within the southern states.
  • Plessy v Ferguson

    Plessy v Ferguson
    Louisiana had a Separate Car Act that racially separated blacks and whites on trains. Plessy decided to challenge the act when he wanted to sit in a "whites only" car and he was later arrested when he refused to vacate the premises and the courts ruled that the Separate Car Act was constitutional.
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    The 19th amendment stated that no one should be refused the right to vote based on their gender.
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    White Primaries

    A device that the southern states used in order to limit the ability of the eligibility of African Americans playing a part in the political process. The political parties were technically private organizations and not affiliated within the government, so they were allowed to restrict African Americans from joining and essentially attempted to remove their political opinion and vote from the picture.
  • Brown vs Board of Education

    Brown vs Board of Education
    This was a case where a school board challenged the idea of segregated schools and whether or not it was constitutional. In the end, the court unanimously ruled that "segregated but equal" schools and educational facilities was unequal and violated the Equal Protection Clause within the 14th amendment.
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    Affirmative Actions

    Affirmative action within the United States is an active effort to improve educational and job/employment opportunities for minorities and women. Usually the criteria for typical affirmative action is race, disability, gender, ethnic origin, and age. This was initiated by President Lyndon Johnson in order to better the opportunities for African Americans.
  • 24th Amendment

    24th Amendment
    The 24th amendment states that the right to vote for President, Vice President, electors for President/Vice President, or Senator or Representatives cannot be refused to anyone who can't pay the poll tax or any other tax.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 said that any discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is unconstitutional. This act ended segregation in public places and forbade employment discrimination.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    An act aimed to overcome the barriers that state and local legislatures had put in place that prevented African Americans from their right to vote.
  • Reed v Reed

    Reed v Reed
    In this case, Sally Reed challenged the court for land that belonged to her and Cecil Reed's adopted son. The Reeds were separated and according to the Idaho Probate Code, the males were preferred over the females when appointing who had control of the estate. The court unanimously ruled that men and women were to have an equal chance at claiming land and it shouldn't be mandated by sex.
  • Equal Rights Amendment

    Equal Rights Amendment
    The Equal Rights Amendment was passed in 1972 and stated that everyone should have equal rights, no matter their sex. This was focused mainly on matters of divorce, property, employment, and other ideals and issues.
  • Regents of the University of California v Bakke

    Regents of the University of California v Bakke
    Allan Bakke was a student trying to apply to the University of California Medical School at Davis and he applied twice, to which he was rejected both times. The school only reserved 16 "qualified" minority spots and he felt that he was rejected just on the basis of his race and he said that his scores exceeded those of any of the other minority students that applied. The courts argued whether or not this violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment and minimized white opposition.
  • Bowers v Hardwick

    Bowers v Hardwick
    Michael Hardwick was found by the police having homosexual relations with another man and he was charged with violating the Georgia statute on homosexuality. Hardwick then challenged the court and the courts ruled in a 5-4 decision for Bowers that homosexual practices were not protected underneath the constitution and that states could outlaw those practices.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    Americans with Disabilities Act
    An act that prohibits discrimination against anyone with a disability in all public areas of life such as jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
  • Lawrence v Texas

    Lawrence v Texas
    Houston police responded to a report of weapons on the property of Tyron Garner and found him engaging in homosexual relations with another man. The police arrested him and Lawrence and they were convicted under the Texas statute. Garner challenged the courts and the courts ruled that Texas' law against same sex relations was unconstitutional and violated the Due Process Clause.
  • Obergefell v Hodges

    Obergefell v Hodges
    Many groups of same-sex couples sued their state agencies and challenged the ban on same-sex marriage within their states. They claimed that restricting these violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clause of the 14th amendment. The courts ruled in a 5-4 decision for Obergefell that the Due Process Clause guaranteed one the right for same-sex marriage and that it was unconstitutional for any state to put any bans or regulations against it.