Civil rights
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Civil Rights. Civil Rights. Refers to government-protected rights of individuals against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by governments or individuals based on categories such as: race, sex, national origin, age, religion or sexual orientation. Citizenship.

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Civil Rights

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Civil Rights


Civil Rights

  • Refers to government-protected rights of individuals against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by governments or individuals based on categories such as:

    • race,

    • sex,

    • national origin,

    • age,

    • religion

    • or sexual orientation


Citizenship

  • Missouri Compromise (1820)

  • Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)

  • 14th Amendment (1868)

    • Definition of a citizen

      • Someone born or naturalized in the U.S.


Civil War Amendments

  • 13th-Abolishes Slavery

  • 14th- Due process, equal protection, privileges and immunities

  • 15th-Right to vote regardless of race


Race

  • Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)

  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

  • Brown v. Board (1954)

    • De jure

    • De facto


Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • Leading to the legislation

    • Kennedy request on banning discrimination in public accommodations

    • March on Washington led by King

      • “I Have a Dream” speech

    • Kennedy assassinated

    • Johnson, southern-born VP, put civil rights on top of his agenda as new president.

      • Opposition from Strom Thurmond—longest filibuster in history of Senate (8 weeks)

    • Public opinion changes (southern attitudes)


Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • The legislation, once passed…

    • Outlawed arbitrary discrimination in voter registration and expedited voting rights lawsuits.

    • Barred discrimination in public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce.

    • Authorized the Department of Justice to initiate lawsuits to desegregate public facilities and schools.

    • Provided for the withholding of federal funds from discriminatory state and local programs.

    • Prohibited discrimination in employment on grounds of race, color, religion, and national origin, or sex.

    • Created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to monitor and enforce the bans on employment discrimination.


Impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • Lawsuits quickly emerged to challenge the act.

    • Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality.

  • Education

    • Supreme Court ruled that all state-imposed segregation (de jure discrimination) must be eliminated at once.

    • De facto discrimination

      • Racial discrimination that results from practice rather than the law (housing patterns, for example)

  • Employment

    • Title VII prohibits discrimination in workplace

    • Notion of “business necessity”


Other Civil Rights Acts

  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • Civil Rights Act of 1968


Women’s Rights

  • The Second Feminist Wave

    • Muller v. Oregon (1908)

      • Limited the work day for women in laundries to 10 hours

    • Reed v. Reed (1971)

      • “Arbitrary” gender discrimination violated 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause

    • Craig v. Boren (1976)

      • “Medium scrutiny” standard established for gender discrimination

    • Equal Rights Amendment fails ratification by states (1982)


Statutory Remedies for Sex Discrimination

  • Title VII: prohibits discrimination by private and(after 1972) public employers

  • Key victories under Title VII:

    • Consideration of sexual harassment as sex discrimination

    • Inclusion of law firms, which many argued were private partnerships, in the coverage of the act

    • A broad definition of what can be considered sexual harassment, which includes same-sex harassment

    • Allowance of voluntary affirmative action programs to redress historical discrimination against women


Statutory Remedies for Sex Discrimination

  • Title IX

    • Provision of the Educational Amendments of 1972 that bars educational institutions receiving federal funds from discriminating against female students

  • Key victories under Title IX

    • Holding school boards or districts responsible for sexual harassment of students by teachers


Affirmative Action

  • Definition: a policy designed to give special attention to or compensatory treatment of members of some previously disadvantaged group

  • In education

    • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)

      • Racial set asides unconstitutional

      • Race could be considered in admissions

    • Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)

      • Race could be considered a “plus” in admissions


New Civil Rights Issues

  • Civil Rights and the Graying of America

    • Age classifications not suspect category, but fall under rational basis test.

  • Civil Rights and People with Disabilities

    • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

      • Requiring employers and public facilities to make “reasonable accommodations” for those with disabilities

      • Prohibits employment discrimination against the disabled


New Civil Rights Issues

  • Gay and Lesbian Rights

    • Bowers v. Hardwick (1986)

    • Romer v. Evans (1996)

    • Lawrence v. Texas (2003)

      • Overturned Bowers

      • Private homosexual acts are protected by the Constitution

    • Gay marriage

      • Many state constitutions amended to prohibit practice


Equal Protection


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