Prentice Hall PoliticalScience Interactive. Shea, Green, and Smith Living Democracy Chapter 6 Civil Rights. The Controversy over Affirmative Action. How does affirmative action in universities differ from other preferential criteria in admissions?
Shea, Green, and Smith
The Founders believed in political equality. But for whom?
The drive for civil rights focused on
Exclusion, by reason of race, gender, or disability, from public education, employment, housing, and public accommodations
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
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.
Three constitutional amendments were aimed at providing protection for African Americans
Jim Crow laws were enacted that mandated rigid racial segregation throughout southern society
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Supreme Court ruled that there was no violation of the constitutional right to equal protection when states had “separate but equal” facilities and services for people of different races
Segregation and discrimination mandated by state and local laws
Segregation and discrimination enforced through informal and semi-formal norms and practices
JFK Speaks on Civil Rights
The Supreme Court’s 1873 Bradwell v. Illinois decision upheld a statute prohibiting women from becoming licensed attorneys in Illinois
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
Cases alleging gender discriminationClarifying the Coverage of the Equal Protection Clause
The government need only show a substantial justification, rather than a compelling reason, to explain the differential treatment of men and women
The government must show a compelling justification for any laws, policies, or practices that result in racial discrimination
1. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
Several events in the 1950s served to mobilize and divide the nation around the issue of equal rights for African Americans
The Emmett Till jury
3. Rosa Parks is arrested after she refuses to give up her bus seat in 1955
You may well ask, ‘Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’ You are quite right in calling for negotiations. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
MLK – I Have A Dream
Strategies used by suffragists
 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.
 Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation
The Nineteenth Amendment (1920)
Many other groups have fought for civil rights over the last 30 years: people with disabilities, homosexuals, and Native Americans