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Civil Rights . AP Government & Politics Mr. Minnich. What are civil rights?. Group is denied access to facilities, opportunities, or services. Issue is whether differential treatment is reasonable Some is reasonable: progressive taxation Some is not: separate facilities for school.

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civil rights

Civil Rights

AP Government & Politics

Mr. Minnich

what are civil rights
What are civil rights?
  • Group is denied access to facilities, opportunities, or services.
  • Issue is whether differential treatment is reasonable
    • Some is reasonable: progressive taxation
    • Some is not: separate facilities for school
civil rights violations
Civil Rights Violations
  • 3,600 blacks were lynched
  • Some states barred blacks from buying homes, or getting certain jobs
  • Popular opinion strongly against school and transportation integration
question
Question
  • How do you make progress in Civil Rights with these horrible statistics?
answer
Answer
  • Find more white allies
  • Shift to policy-making arenas where whites had less of an advantage
    • Example: Move African Americans’ legal and political struggle from Congress to the federal courts
14 th amendment
14th Amendment
  • Broad interpretation:
    • The Constitution is color blind, so no differential treatment is acceptable
  • Narrow interpretation:
    • Equal legal rights, but African Americans and whites could otherwise be treated differently
  • Supreme Court adopted narrow view in Plessy v. Ferguson
plessy v ferguson 1896
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
  • “separate but equal”
  • NAACP had a strategy to fight this case in the courts again and take it to the Supreme Court
can separate schools be equal
Can separate schools be equal?
  • Step 1: Determine the obvious inequalities
    • Addressed in 1938-48 court cases
  • Step 2: Decide that separation causes inequality in less obvious cases
  • Step 3: Declaring that separation is inherently unequal
    • Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
    • Done unanimously
desegregation vs integration
Desegregation vs. Integration
  • De jure (South) and de facto (North) segregation
    • There were laws in the South that produced segregation
    • In the North racial segregation occurred as a result of patterns of residential settlement not by law.
desegregation vs integration1
Desegregation vs. Integration
    • In 1968 “freedom of choice” plan under which every student would be allowed to attend the school of their choice
      • Most black students stayed in black schools and white students stayed in white schools
  • Solution: mandatory busing was established to integrate these schools
    • Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan all opposed this idea
    • The idea died by the 1980’s
civil rights strategy
Civil Rights Strategy
  • Get issues on the political agenda by mobilizing opinion through dramatic events
    • Sit-ins, freedom rides, bus boycotts, and voter registration efforts
    • Martin Luther King’s speeches
    • Non-violent protest to the “long hot summer” of racial violence
turning the corner
Turning the Corner
  • Kennedy politically reluctant to pass Civil Rights legislation
  • Democratic landslide in 1964 election and northern Democrats prevail in Congress
  • Bills passed
    • 1964 Civil Rights Act
    • 1965 Voting Rights laws
    • 1968 Housing discrimination law
  • Since 1960’s Congress is more willing to pass Civil Rights legislation
    • Change in white elite opinion and more blacks voting
racial profiling
Racial Profiling
  • The condition in which law enforcement authorities are more likely to stop and question people because of their race or ethnicity (Example: driving while black)
    • Opponents: is inherently discriminatory
    • Alternative perspective: may be that members of some groups are more likely to break the law, lead to higher levels of public safety
women and equal rights
Women and Equal Rights
  • Seneca Falls Convention 1848
  • Beginning of women’s rights movement and they demand the right to vote
  • Wyoming first state to allow women the right to vote (more common out West)
  • 19th Amendment passed in 1920 gave them the right to vote
  • During World War II women took on male jobs in defense industry
women and equal rights1
Women and Equal Rights
  • Rostker v. Goldberg (1981): Congress may require men but not women to register for the draft
  • In 1993, secretary of defense allowed women in air and sea combat positions, but not in ground combat positions
sexual harassment
Sexual Harassment
  • Quid pro quo role: sexual favors required for employment
  • Hostile environment: creating a setting in which harassment impairs a person’s ability to work
  • Supreme Court position continues to evolve and no standards are clear as of now
privacy and sex
Privacy and Sex
  • Regulating sexual matters generally up to the individual states
  • New York allows abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy and Texas not at all unless the mother’s life was threatened
  • 1965 Supreme Court held that states could not prevent sale of contraceptives (violates zone of privacy)
privacy and sex1
Privacy and Sex
  • Privacy not mentioned in Constitution
  • Privacy inferred in Bill of Rights
  • 1973: Roe v. Wade
    • Struck down Texas ban on abortions and all similar state laws
    • Women’s right to choose is protected by 14th Amendment
      • 1st trimester: no regulations
      • 2nd trimester: no ban but regulations to protect woman’s health
      • 3rd trimester: abortion ban possible
privacy and sex2
Privacy and Sex
  • Critics of Roe
  • Amendments to overturn Roe v. Wade did not pass Congress
    • Life begins at contraception
    • Fetus is a person entitled to protections of the 14th Amendment
    • Amendments to overturn Roe v. Wade did not pass Congress
    • Partial birth abortions ban struck down in 2000, but upheld in 2007
affirmative action
Affirmative Action
  • Preferential hiring practices-should be used in hiring
  • Equality of results
  • Racism and sexism can be overcome only by taking them into account in designing remedies
  • Equal rights not enough; people need benefits
critics of affirmative action
Critics of Affirmative Action
  • Reverse discrimination on race and sex
  • Laws should be color blind and gender neutral
  • Government should only eliminate barriers
courts on affirmative action
Courts on Affirmative Action
  • No clear direction by the courts
  • Bakke (1978): numerical minority quotas are not allowed, but race could be considered
  • Supreme Court upheld 10% of all federal construction contracts for minority-owned firms (1980)
homosexuals and the constitution
Homosexuals and the Constitution
  • Courts historically willing to allow states to determine homosexual rights
  • Bowers v. Hardwick (1986): Georgia allowed banning homosexual sexual activity
  • Lawrence v. Texas (2003): Texas law banned sexual contact between persons of same sex
  • Supreme Court overturned the law
  • Private groups (Boys Scouts of America) still allowed to exclude homosexuals from membership
homosexuals and the constitution1
Homosexuals and the Constitution
  • Gay marriage is left up to the states
  • New Jersey the latest to allows gay marriage in October 2013
  • Will this happen in Pennsylvania?