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Civil Rights

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Garrett Jones

on 30 October 2015

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Transcript of Civil Rights

Civil Rights
Campaign in Congress
Women and Equal Rights
Affirmative Action
Gay Rights
Step 1: Win over public opinion through publicizing dramatic events
Sit-ins and freedom rides
Voter registration efforts
Montgomery Bus Boycott (led by MLK, Jr after Rosa Parks incident)
1955-1956
Civil disobedience
peacefully disobeying a law and facing punishment to bring attention to law
common tactic of 1950s, early 1960s
"long, hot summers" of racial violence, riots
young blacks became militant
Mixed Results
Agenda-setting success
Coalition-building set-backs
Opponents of civil rights legislation dominated Congress
Key committees controlled by Southerners
Senate filibuster threat

President Kennedy reluctant to push strong civil rights legislation
Developments break the deadlock
1. Public opinion changing regarding school integration
2. Violent reactions of segregationists received extensive media coverage
3. Kennedy assassination
4. 1964 Democratic landslide - Northern Democrats took control in the House
Civil Rights Laws
1964 Civil Rights Act - THE civil rights act: included employment, public accomodations, voting, and schools

1965 Voting Rights Act - outlawed discriminatory voting practices

1968 - Fair Housing Act (Part of Civil Rights Act of 1968) - outlawed discriminatory housing practices
Racial Profiling
the condition in which law enforcement authorities are more likely to stop and question a person because of their race or ethnicity
Is racial profiliing appropriate?
Pro: It may be that members of some groups are more likely to break the law.
Profiling leads to higher level of public safety.
Con: Racial profiling is inherently discriminatory and should never be done.
Brief Herstory....
1848 - Seneca Falls Convention
Generally considered the beginning of the women's rights movement
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony Era
1890s - early 1900s - State amendments begin to allow womens suffrage
West - first 8 states were in the West (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho)
1910s - Alice Paul and National Women's Party protest president and use civil disobedience
1920 - 19th Amendment passed
1940s - WWII (continued from WWI) - women's role changing due to new employement
1960s - Feminist movement
1963 - Betty Freidan publishes A Feminine Mystique
1970s - Supreme Court reviews gender-based classifications
Should sexual discrimination be deemed constitutional or not based on reasonbleness?
OR, should the court use the same standard as applied to African American rights - strict scrutiny?
Illegal Discrimination
Acceptable Differences Based on Sex
Age of adulthood
Drinking age
arbitrary height/weight requirements
no mandatory pregnancy leaves
girls can't be barred from little leagues
Business clubs and professional organizations can't exclude women
Retirement benefits
HS sports - boys and girls sports
Statutory rape (men can be punished)
All-boy and all-girl public schools ok if enrollment is voluntary
Widow's property tax ememption
Delayed promotions in the Navy
Rostker v. Goldberg (1981) - Congress may require men but not women to register for the draft
Equal Rights Amendment
Amendment intended to guarentee equal rights based on gender
Originally written by Alice Paul
Passed both Houses in 1972 but died in 1982 when 3/4 states still had not ratified
1993 - Secretart of Defense allowed women in air and sea combat positions, but not on ground combat positions
2010 - Women officers allowed on submarines
Sexual Harassment
Illegal, but usually very difficult to prove and/or convict due to vague laws
Two forms are documented as illegal:
Quid pro quo ("this for that") harassment - employers liable for accepting/requiring sexual favors for promotion, job, etc.
Hostile environment harassment - employers liable if a setting impairs a person's ability to work.
Privacy and Sex
Before 1965, regulating sexual matters had traditionally been a state function
States regulated abortions
Texas outlawed unless mother's life in danger
NY allowed abortions through 24 weeks
:32 - 2:40
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
States can't prevent sale of contraceptives because it violates the zone of privacy
Set precedent of privacy as constitutionally protected (not mentioned specifically)
Privacy found in the "penumbras" (shadows) of the Bill of Rights
Main argument - 4th Amendment (search and seizure)
9th - anything not included reserved to states or people
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Struck down Texas ban on abortions
Ruled that a woman's freedom to choose is protected by Fourteenth Amendment
1st trimester - no ban or regulation allowed
2nd trimester - no ban allowed, regulations that protect health of woman
3rd trimester - states may ban abortion
Pro-Life Reactions
Argued that a fetus is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment
Constitutional amendments to overturn Roe did not pass Congress

Hyde Amendment (1976) - no federal funds (medicaid) for abortion except when woman's life is endangered
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Placed regulations on abortions:
24 hour waiting period
parental consent
pamphlets about alternatives
Equality of opportunity vs. equality of result
Preferential hiring practices to increase minority participation
Affirmative Action is necessary:
History has disadvantaged minorities
Institutions should reflect the diversity of the nation
Laws should not be color-blind or gender neutral
Ex: daycare for female employees
Supported by social liberals
Affirmative Action is reverse discrimination
Laws should be colorblind and sex-neutral
Supported by social conservatives
American Opinion
Affirmative Action and the Court
-A confusing mess
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)
numerical race quotas not permitted, but admissions could "take race into account."
Richmond v. Croson (1989)
Affirmative action plans must be judged by the strict scrutiny standard - overturned a law that set aside 30% of construction firms for minority firms.
Two ways of looking at laws concerning affirmative action:
Compensatory action - helping minorities catch up (extra education, training, services)
Preferential treatment - giving minorities preference, applying quotas

Americans support compensatory action but not preferential treatment.
Recent Landmark Cases on Affirmative Action
Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)
overturned the U. of Michigan admissions policy that gave "bonus points" to minority applicants.
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
upheld a U. of Michigan Law School admissions policy that used race as a "plus factor" but not as part of a numerical quota.
Historic precedent - homosexual rights have been determined by the states

Anti-sodomy laws: method used by states to outlaw homosexuality.

Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) - Supreme Court ruled that anti-sodomy laws were constitutional.
Romer v. Evans (1996) - Supreme Court struck down Colorado state amendment that attempted to make laws that protect gays and bisexual persons

1996 - A state can make a law that essentially outlaws homosexuality but a state cannot pass a law preventing protection of homosexuals. (???)
Lawerence v. Texas (2003)
Supreme Court overruled Bowers v. Hardwick
Texas couldn't ban sexual contact between persons of the same sex.
Use the same reasoning as abortion, contraception (privacy).
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000)
Private organizations may ban gays from membership
Gay Marriage
States largely determined this policy before the 2015 Supreme Court Ruling.
The federal policy was set by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (1996) - full faith and credit does not apply to same-sex marriages, federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages. (Ruled unconstitutional 2013)

Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) -- the Fourteenth Amendment guarentees the fundamental right to marry to same-sex couples.
Full transcript