chapter 5

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Chapter Five Civil Rights


Civil Rights Equality is at the heart of Civil Rights What the government must do to ensure equal protection under the law and What the government must do to ensure freedom from discrimination _____________________ The story of civil rights is a story of the struggle of various groups to be free from discriminatory treatment What should be the govt’s. responsibility when equal protection under the law is not enough to ensure truly equal opportunities for Americans?


Civil Rights for African-Americans and Other Minorities In apportioning congressional representation based on population, the constitution refers to free persons and “other persons” (or slaves) For purposes of representation, a slave was equal to 3/5 of a free person in terms of economic production and taxation Supreme Court confirms constitutionality of slavery in Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) They were not citizens, so they were not entitled to any protection under the law, but they were property.


The Civil War Amendments Thirteenth Amendment (1865) – Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist in the United States Fourteenth Amendment (1868) – All persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens States cannot abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens All persons (whether or not they are citizens) are entitled to due process under the law All persons are entitled to equal protection under the law Fifteenth Amendment (1870) – The right to vote shall not be denied because of race, color or previous condition of servitude (black males only)


Key Points of the Early Civil Rights Acts of 1865 to 1875 The First Civil Rights Act of 1866 Extended citizenship to anyone born in the United States Gave African Americans full equality before the law Authorized the president to enforce the act through use of force The Enforcement Act of 1870 Set out specific penalties for interfering with the right to vote The Anti-Ku Klux Klan Act (1872) Made it a federal crime to deprive an individual of his or her rights The Second Civil Rights Act (1875) Everyone is entitled to equal enjoyment of public accommodations and places of public amusement Imposed penalties for violators


The Civil Rights Act were nullified (rendered void) through The Civil Rights Cases (1883) The Supreme Court rules that the 14th Amendment only prevents official discriminatory acts by states, not by private individuals Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Stated that segregation did not violate the 14th amendment Established the separate-but-equal doctrine Paved the way constitutionally for a system of racial segregation - developed, especially in the South Jim Crow Laws – Institutional racism


Barriers to Voting by African Americans The White Primary – a state primary election in which only whites may vote allowed because Southern Democrats claimed political parties were private entities was outlawed by the Supreme Court in 1944 (Smith v. Allwright) The Grandfather Clause – restricting voting to individuals who could prove that their grandfathers had voter prior to 1867. This was next to impossible to prove. Was used to exempt whites from poll taxes Was used to exempt whites from literacy tests Poll Taxes – required the payment of a fee to vote Intended to disenfranchise poor African Americans Was outlawed in national elections by the 24th amendment Finally, it was outlawed in all elections by the Supreme Court in 1966! Literacy Tests – required potential voters to read, recite or interpret complicated texts Intended to disenfranchise African Americans


The End of the “Separate But Equal” Doctrine Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) – Supreme Court rules public school segregation violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment This overturns Plessy v. Ferguson of 1896 Brown v. Board of Education II (1955) – Orders desegregation “with all deliberate speed” Gave rise to some all-white “segregation academies” Court–ordered busing – Transporting African American children to white schools and white children to African American schools De Facto and De Jure Segregation Most all, black and white, did not like busing New Goal: “Better educated children”


Modern Civil Rights Legislation 1955 Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1957 SCLC, non-violence, sit-ins, freedom rides, 1963 March on Washington, Second Reconstruction Civil Rights Act of 1964 (See Page 101 in your text) Forbade discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender and national origin in Voter registration Public accommodations Public schools Expanded the power of the Civil Rights Commission Withheld funds from programs administered in a discriminatory way Established the right to equality of opportunity in employment (created the EEOC) Civil Rights Act of 1968 Forbade discrimination in housing Voting Rights Act of 1965 Outlawed discriminatory voter registration tests Authorized federal registration and administration of voting where discrimination took place Resulted in massive voter registration drives of African Americans in the South. Today, more than 8,500 African American elected officials in the U.S.


Women’s Struggle for Equal Rights Women’s Suffrage Movement Was connected to the abolition movement Suffragists organized the first women’s right convention at Seneca Falls, NY in 1848 Established women’s suffrage associations Finally won passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 The Modern Women’s Movement Spurred in by the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique ( 1963) Connected to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s Argued for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment Failed to win the necessary states for ratification even with an extension Has targeted gender discrimination by challenging policies and laws in federal courts, e.g. firefighting units arbitrary rules, insurance companies, and VMI Has advocated and encouraged an increasingly prominent role for women in government and politics National Women’s Political Caucus, Coalition for Women’s Appointments, Fund for a Feminist Majority, Black Women Organized for Action, and PACs like Emily’s List – Early money is like yeast, it makes the dough rise! Nancy Pelosi (D) – First woman in leadership position in U.S. House of Reps.


Gender Based Discrimination in the Work Place Gender discrimination – any practice, policy or procedure that denies equality of treatment to an individual or group because of gender Prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Applies even to “protective policies,” policies designed to protect women of child-bearing age, like Hazmat teams, firefighting, etc. Title VII also addresses sexual harassment – unwanted physical or verbal conduct or abuse of a sexual nature that Interferes with a recipient’s job performance OR Creates a hostile environment OR Carries an implicit or explicit threat of adverse employment consequences Still work to be done: Equal Pay Act of 1963 But women still occupy jobs that are more lower paying than men Wage discrimination – women earn 76 cents for every $1.00 earned by men The glass ceiling – the phenomenon of women holding few of the top positions in professions or businesses The “Comparable Worth” Debate


Affirmative Action The 1964 Civil Rights Act addressed discrimination and established equal opportunity, but minorities often lacked the education or job skills to compete effectively due to their history of discrimination. In 1965, Affirmative Action was implemented to remedy this It is a policy in educational admissions or job hiring to “level the playing field” It gives special consideration or compensatory treatment to traditionally disadvantaged groups Some say it goes beyond the equal protection clause, but the trend in Congress has been to extend rights to other groups: elderly, disabled It is an effort to overcome present effects of past discrimination


Obstacles to Affirmative Action Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) – a reverse discrimination case; the Supreme Court ruled that using race as the sole criterion for admission to a university is improper, but race can be one factor Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena (1995) -- Affirmative Action programs cannot use quotas for unqualified persons. It did not pass the “strict scrutiny test” and show a compelling government interest The Supreme Court let the decision stand in Hopwood v. State of Texas (1996) – a federal appellate court ruled that the use of race as a means of achieving racial diversity violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, thus challenging the Bakke case California Prop. 209 in 1996, ended all state-sponsored Affirmative Action programs in the state

Bilingual Education: 

Bilingual Education Started as govt. policies favoring multiculturalism which grew out of the civil rights movement Govt. should accommodate the needs of different cultural groups and should protect and encourage ethnic and cultural differences. Bilingual Education Act in 1968 Most bilingual education programs today are for Hispanic children Since 1998, Calif. has ended bilingual education and the courts have backed the voters


Special Protection for Older Americans Population Projections – By 2050 half of Americans will be 39-years- old or older! What will be the political ramifications of this? Attempts to Protect Older Americans Older workers have often fallen victim to cost-cutting efforts Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 – Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age unless age is shown to be a bona fide occupational qualification To prove it, one must prove “age bias” Mandatory Retirement – Is prohibited in most occupations by an amendment to the ADEA (1978)


Securing Rights for Persons with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Requires all public buildings and services be accessible to persons with disabilities Requires employers make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, unless to do so would cause “undue hardship” for the employer Defines “disabilities” as physical or mental impairments that substantially limit everyday activities The person must be “qualified” for the job In Bragdon v. Abbott (1998) the Supreme Court ruled that an HIV infection falls under the protection of the ADA


The Rights and Status of Gay Males and Lesbians - Change over Time - In decades past, most states had anti-sodomy laws. The Supreme Court has ruled those laws Unconstitutional. In Romer v. Evans (1986) the Supreme Court ruled that a Colorado amendment that invalidated state laws protecting homosexuals violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment Gay Marriage: What will the Supreme Court say? A 28th Amendment to the Constitution?


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