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 rights1
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


  • 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
Civil War Amendments

  • 13th-Abolishes Slavery

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

  • 15th-Right to vote regardless of race


  • Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)

  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

  • Brown v. Board (1954)

    • De jure

    • De facto

Civil rights act of 1964
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 19641
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
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
Other Civil Rights Acts

  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • Civil Rights Act of 1968

Women s rights
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
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 discrimination1
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
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
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 issues1
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