Civil Rights

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Civil Rights

  1. 1. Civil Rights Michael P. Fix
  2. 2. Civil Rights Defined <ul><li>Equal treatment of all citizens by the government. </li></ul><ul><li>Guarantees that all citizens are able to participate as equals in the practice of democratic life. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Civil Rights & Civil Liberties <ul><li>Civil Rights are government guarantees of political equality . </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Liberties protect individuals from governmental interference. </li></ul><ul><li>Further, Civil Rights tend to apply to groups, whereas Civil Liberties are individual protections. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Ideal of Equality <ul><li>The Founders believed in political equality. But, for whom? </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Ideal of Equality <ul><li>No equality in the Constitution . </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Ideal of Equality <ul><li>Equality of Condition </li></ul><ul><li>The government takes direct action to reduce economic disparities between citizens </li></ul>Equality of Opportunity The government seeks to eliminate some discriminatory barriers to education, employment, and public accommodation
  7. 7. Civil Rights in Historical Context <ul><li>Women and African-Americans given few rights. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Civil Rights in Historical Context <ul><li>Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Civil Rights in Historical Context From www.oneonta.edu (left) and www.costumes.org (right)
  10. 10. Civil War and Change? <ul><li>Three constitutional amendments were aimed at providing protection for African Americans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thirteenth Amendment (1865) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fourteenth Amendment (1868) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fifteenth Amendment (1870) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Civil War and Change? <ul><li>Black Codes </li></ul><ul><li>Denied blacks equality before the law and political rights, and imposed on them mandatory year-long labor contracts, coercive apprenticeship regulations, and criminal penalties for breach of contract. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Civil War & Change? <ul><li>The effect of these Amendments were limited by a series of Supreme Court decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Rights Cases (1883) </li></ul><ul><li>Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) – “Separate but equal” </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Civil War & Change? <ul><li>Southern States also managed to circumvent the requirements of the 15 th Amendment. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poll Tax </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literacy Test (+ Grandfather Clause) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>White Primaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terror and Intimidation (has this really ended?) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. The Civil War & Change? <ul><li>Freed slaves and their descendents had no accumulated or inherited assets </li></ul><ul><li>Because of the visibility of their skin color, African Americans were easy to exclude from institutions dominated by whites </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Civil War & Change? <ul><li>Race-based slavery and the years of racial discrimination that followed laid the foundation for contemporary racial disparities in wealth, education, housing patterns and employment opportunities </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Ideal of Equality <ul><li>The drive for civil rights focused on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Equal access to voting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibition of certain forms of “categorical discrimination” </li></ul></ul>Categorical discrimination Exclusion, by reason of race, gender, or disability, from public education, employment, housing and public accommodations
  17. 17. Sowing the Seeds of Change <ul><li>In 1944, the Supreme Court declared that race was a suspect classification that demanded strict scrutiny ( Smith v. Allwright ). </li></ul><ul><li>Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) – overturned “separate but equal” in public schools. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Southern Resistance Many political leaders in the South resisted attempts at desegregation. From www. Search.com
  19. 19. African Americans and Civil Rights <ul><li>1963 March on Washington </li></ul><ul><ul><li>250,000 participants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1964 Civil Rights Act passed </li></ul><ul><li>1965 Voting Rights Act enacted </li></ul>MLK – I Have A Dream
  20. 20. African-Americans and Civil Rights De Jure Segregation Segregation and discrimination mandated by state and local laws De Facto Segregation Segregation and discrimination enforced through informal and semi-formal norms and practices
  21. 21. Affirmative Action Affirmative Action Remedial preferences provided to people in university admissions, employment, and government contracts Affirmative Action is called reverse discrimination by opponents
  22. 22. Affirmative Action in the Higher Education <ul><li>How does affirmative action in universities differ from other preferential criteria in admissions? </li></ul><ul><li>University of California v. Bakke (1978) was one of the earliest challenges to affirmative action in the university </li></ul>
  23. 23. Affirmative Action in Higher Education <ul><li>Diversity and Affirmative Action </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity as a Constitutional Question </li></ul><ul><li>Race-Neutral Approaches to Diversity </li></ul>Protest over Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s effort to ban racial preferences in university admissions and state contracting
  24. 24. Affirmative Action 49 percent of white respondents think that affirmative action has gone too far, while 79 percent of minority respondents think that it is still needed. What are some of the consequences that these polarized views can result in?
  25. 25. Affirmative Racial Gerrymandering Following the 1990 census, the Department of Justice pressed southern legislatures to draw as many districts as possible in which minorities would constitute a majority of the electorate Affirmative Racial Gerrymandering in North Carolina
  26. 26. Women and Civil Rights <ul><li>Women’s rights groups attempted to use the Civil War Amendments to expand their rights. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Women and Civil Rights <ul><li>The Supreme Court’s 1873 Bradwell v. Illinois decision upheld a statute prohibiting women from becoming licensed attorneys in Illinois </li></ul>The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life. The constitution of the family organization, which is founded in the divine ordinance, as well as in the nature of things, indicates the domestic sphere as that which properly belongs to the domain and functions of womanhood. -Justice Joseph P. Bradley
  28. 28. Women and Civil Rights <ul><li>15th Amendment did not bar denial of the vote on the grounds of gender </li></ul><ul><li>Women had to fight for universal suffrage </li></ul>
  29. 29. Women and Civil Rights <ul><li>[1] The right of citizens in the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. </li></ul><ul><li>[2] Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation </li></ul>The Nineteenth Amendment
  30. 30. Women and Civil Rights <ul><li>In the latter half of the Twentieth Century Women’s Rights Groups made significant gains in many areas . . . </li></ul><ul><li>*Discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>*Abortion </li></ul>
  31. 31. Strict vs. Intermediate Scrutiny <ul><li>Cases alleging discrimination by race or national origin </li></ul><ul><li>Cases alleging gender discrimination </li></ul>Strict Scrutiny The government must show a compelling justification for any laws, policies, or practices that result in racial discrimination Intermediate Scrutiny The government need only show a substantial justification, rather than a compelling reason, to explain the differential treatment of men and women
  32. 32. Contemporary Civil Rights Issues <ul><li>Many other groups have fought for civil rights over the last 30 years: people with disabilities, homosexuals, and Native Americans </li></ul>
  33. 33. Contemporary Civil Rights Issues <ul><li>The elderly and disabled </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gays and Lesbians </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bowers v. Hardwick (1986). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commonwealth v. Wasson (KY, 1992). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lawrence v. Texas (2003). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gay marriage and same-sex unions (VT, MA). </li></ul></ul>

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