Civil Rights Timetoast

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    Poll Taxes

    A poll tax is a fee the people have to pay in order to vote in an election. Before 1964, poll taxes were allowed, and they prevented many people from being able to vote because those people were from poorer economic backgrounds and were unable to pay the fee. After poll taxes became unconstitutional, those poorer people (a large segment of whom were African American) were able to cast their votes for the first time.
  • Dred Scott v. Sanford

    Dred Scott v. Sanford
    The Dred Scott Decision said that African Americans, whether they were slaves or free, were not American Citizens, so they couldn't sue anyone in court. This decision was important because it widened the divide between pro-slavery and anti-slavery in the United States before the Civil War
  • 13th Amendment Passed

    13th Amendment Passed
    Passing the 13th Amendment abolished slavery everywhere in the United States, not just the rebelling ones, which is what the Emancipation Proclamation did. It made it formally unconstitutional to have slaves anywhere in the country, which greatly expanded civil rights and lead to the passing of further amendments and laws that helped African Americans gain equality in the US
  • 14th Amendment Passed

    14th Amendment Passed
    The 14th Amendment was important because it made everyone born or naturalized in the US a citizen, and therefore deserving of equal protection of the laws. It also has the due process clause that made it unconstitutional to "deprive anyone of life, liberty, or property without due process of law" which was important because it made the laws of the constitution apply to everyone, black and white, equally (theoretically).
  • 15th Amendment Passed

    15th Amendment Passed
    The 15th Amendment said that everyone, regardless of their skin color or if they had been a slave before, had the right to vote. This was important because before this, it had been legal to restrict certain types of people from voting, making it basically impossible for anyone except white landowning men to vote. Now, technically, the polls were not allowed to discriminate based on skin color, opening up the legal opportunity for African American people to vote as well
  • Plessy v Ferguson

    Plessy v Ferguson
    Plessy v Ferguson was the supreme court case the essentially made segregation constitutional. It allowed "separate but equal" to be implemented across the entire country, and kept African Americans from having truly equal access to education, employment, recreation, housing, sanitation, and transportation. The precedent set by this case was finally overturned by Brown v Board of Education in 1954
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    White Primaries

    White Primaries were primary elections where only white voters were allowed to vote, which obviously discriminated against people of all other races and didn't let their voices be heard in those primary elections. After White Primaries were declared unconstitutional in the Supreme Court case Smith v Allwright, voters of different races in southern states like South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia were able to vote in primaries.
  • 19th Amendment Passed

    19th Amendment Passed
    This amendment made it unconstitutional for voters to be discriminated against on the basis of sex. This made it possible for all the women in the United States to vote, when they had not enjoyed this right universally before. This had a huge impact on politics and policy as women were allowed to have a voice nationally
  • Brown v Board of Education of Topeka

    Brown v Board of Education of Topeka
    This decision declared segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, meaning the having "separate but equal" facilities for education was prohibited. Although it did not directly disband segregation in other aspects of life, it suggested that they were not longer constitutional either and paved the way for them to be removed. This case was monumental in terms of ending all aspects of public segregation.
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    Affirmative Action

    Affirmative Action is a policy where the goal is to reverse historical trends of discrimination against certain groups such as racial, gender, or disabled groups in certain situations such as in education, admission to college, and the workforce. It offers incentives or passes standards to favor certain groups in the process of selecting candidates, applicants, or other members of an organization or group and give them an advantage that helps further the equality of their opportunities
  • 24th Amendment Passed

    24th Amendment Passed
    the 24th Amendment prohibited poll taxes, which were a form of voter suppression to keep African Americans and poor people from voting, when they were too poor to pay the fee associated with casting a vote. Passing the 24th amendment made it possible for people from less affluent economic backgrounds to influence the outcomes of elections along with rich people
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    This act made it unconstitutional to discriminate against anyone for anything because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or sex. This was important because it essentially ended the Jim Crow Laws and gave everyone constitutionally equal rights in all regards-not just voting but also in schools, businesses, employment, recreation, and public spaces.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    The Voting Rights Act was signed into law to enforce the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, 95 years after the 15th Amendment was ratified. It outlawed any remaining voting requirements that discriminated against groups of people, such as literacy tests or history tests. This improved people of all races and ethnicity's ability to cast a vote and let their voices be heard.
  • Reed v Reed

    Reed v Reed
    This case declared that it is unconstitutional for any laws or codes to give preference for males over females in the law, because it violates the fourteenth amendment. Reed v Reed is important because it was the first supreme court case to establish that special treatment of one sex over another is unconstitutional.
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    Proposed Equal Rights Amendment

    The Equal Rights Amendment was passed in 1972 by congress and was ratified in 2020 by the required 38 states. However it has not become part of the constitution because the deadline of 7 years past 1972 was not met. Currently, the promoters of the ERA are trying to get congress to remove the deadline so that it can become part of the Constitution. The ERA guarantees women and men constitutional equality in all aspects of life including employment, education, divorce, and property.
  • Regents of the University of California v Bakke

    Regents of the University of California v Bakke
    Bakke contended that he had not been admitted to the University of CA simply because he was white, even though he was better qualified than the minority students. The court voted that he should not have been denied based on his race, citing multiple sources in the constitution. The overall decision mostly agreed that the strict racial quotas set by Universities is unconstitutional, whether they negatively impact minority or white students, yet not all race-based admitting is.
  • Bowers v Hardwick

    Bowers v Hardwick
    This case declared that sodomy was not protected by the constitution, and so if states wanted to outlaw it, they were allowed to. This limited the rights of homosexual people until 2003 when the decision was overturned by Lawrence v Texas
  • Americans With Disabilities Act

    Americans With Disabilities Act
    The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities, and guarantees them equal access to transportation such as restrooms, parking, entering/exiting buildings, or public transport, as well as opportunities such as employment and education. This is important because it allows people with disabilities to participate equally in society and gives them equal chances to succeed alongside people without disabilities.
  • Lawrence v Texas

    Lawrence v Texas
    This case was a big step in advancing the rights of homosexual people, because it ruled that same-sex couples having consensual adult sex in the privacy of their own homes was not the business of the government, and they could do what they wanted under the Due Process Clause. It overturned Bowers v Hardwick which had ruled that laws against same-sex sexual activity were permitted
  • Obergefell v Hodges

    Obergefell v Hodges
    This case established that the 14th Amendment protects the right to marry, and that this right applies to same-sex couples, making same-sex marriage legal, with the states obligated to honor same-sex marriage certificates. This case was huge in the advancement of rights and opportunities for same-sex couples. It was also a major case because the court created a right that the constitution did not specifically state