42 terms

Chapter 5: Civil Rights

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discrimination
The use of any unreasonable and unjust criterion of exclusion.
civil rights
The right to political and social freedom and equality. The government has the obligation to take positive action to protect citizens from any illegal action by government or other citizens to limit such freedom and equality. Civil rights refer to activities and opportunities such as voting and employment. (Different from civil liberties, which are freedoms that government should not interfere with such as freedom of speech).
equal protection clause
Provision of the 14th Amendment guaranteeing citizens "the equal protection of the laws." This clause has been used by the Supreme Court to expand equal protection to minorities, women, and other groups.
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
Supreme Court decision that ruled slaves were not citizens and therefore had no due process rights or "standing" in court. A very divisive decision that further inflamed tensions over slavery prior to the Civil War.
Seneca Falls Convention
Convention in New York in 1848 organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott to promote the political and social rights of women.
13th Amendment
Amendment after the Civil War that abolished slavery nationwide.
14th Amendment
Amendment after the Civil War that guaranteed citizenship, equal protection, and due process to former slaves.
15th Amendment
Amendment after the Civil War that guaranteed the right to vote to all men, regardless of race.
Compromise of 1877
Deal made between southern Democrats and northern Republicans to elect the Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes president in exchange for an end to Reconstruction and federal troops in the south.
Jim Crow laws
Laws enacted by southern states after the Compromise of 1877 and the end of Reconstruction to discriminate against African Americans and limit their political power.
Civil Rights Act of 1875
Legislation passed by Congress to outlaw discrimination in hotels, restaurants, etc. that the Supreme Court overturned as a violation of business owners' economic liberty. The Supreme Court essentially said that Congress did not have the authority to outlaw racial segregation and that the 14th Amendment's "equal protection clause" did not apply to private businesses.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Supreme Court decision that upheld racial segregation in public transportation and established the "separate but equal" rule as the basis for such discrimination. The Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation did not violate the 14th Amendment's "equal protection clause."
NAACP
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Established in 1909 to promote civil rights through litigation and court battles.
NAWSA
National American Women Suffrage Association. Established in 1890 to promote women's suffrage (right to vote) and organize state-by-state efforts to promote women's equality.
19th Amendment
Amendment that guaranteed the right to vote regardless of sex. Ratified in 1920 after the conclusion of World War I and the efforts of NAWSA and the National Woman's Party.
Brown v. Board of Education I (1954)
Supreme Court decision that overturned the precedent of "separate but equal" established by Plessy in 1896. The ruling declared that racial segregation in public schools violated the "equal protection clause" of the 14th Amendment and rendered such segregation and discrimination unconstitutional.
Brown v. Board of Education II (1955)
Supreme Court decision that school districts and federal district courts must implement that court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education I (1954) "with all deliberate speed." Southern states had no intention of following the 1954 decision, but the 1955 decision applied pressure from the national government on the states to comply.
strict scrutiny
A test used by the Supreme Court in cases dealing with possible discrimination in race, civil liberties, and civil rights. Strict scrutiny places the burden of proof on the government that a law is not discriminatory. In other words, strict scrutiny sets a very high bar for government to pass and therefore protects citizens against discrimination.
de jure segregation
"By law" segregation that is legally enforced; the type of segregation that existed in the southern states prior to the 1960s.
de facto segregation
"By fact" segregation that occurs due to socio-economic and cultural factors; the type of segregation that exists today wherein whites congregate in mostly-white suburbs and have mostly-white schools and lower-income minorities are heavily concentrated in lower-income neighborhoods and attend majority-minority schools.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
Legislation that prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Legislation that comprehensively outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, and sex in voting registration requirements, access to public accommodations such as restaurants, and employment practices. The law further empowered the federal government to enforce civil rights violations by creating the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The law was a major victory for the Civil Rights Movement and Women's Rights Movement.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Legislation that was designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments. The legislation protected voting rights nationwide by outlawing literacy tests, providing federal voter registrars for states with a history of discrimination, and requiring, under Section 5 of the law, that states with a history of discrimination receive "pre-clearance" (permission) from the federal government before it makes changes to voter registration laws or election procedures.
Shelby County v. Holder (2013)
Supreme Court decision that ruled the Voting Rights Act formula for Section 5 "pre-clearance" outdated. The result was that states with a history of discrimination no longer had to received permission from the federal government to change voter registration laws or election procedures. The result was swift passage of new Voter ID laws and restrictions on early voting.
gerrymandering
The apportionment of voters in congressional districts in such a way as to give advantage to a political party or racial group.
Fair Housing Act of 1968
Legislation prohibiting discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.
redlining
A practice in which banks refuse to make loans to people living in certain geographic locations. The practice has become more difficult due to the Community Reinvestment Act (1977).
intermediate scrutiny
A test used by the Supreme Court in cases dealing with possible discrimination in gender and sexual orientation. Intermediate scrutiny is not as strong as strict scrutiny, which is used in cases involving race and 1st Amendment issues. Intermediate scrutiny places the burden of proof that discrimination has occurred or not partially on the plaintiff and partially on the government.
NOW
National Organization for Women. Established in 1966 to promote women's rights and equality through such efforts as supporting the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments
Legislation that prohibited gender discrimination in public education. The law withheld federal funding from any public education institution that discriminated based on sex. The result was equal funding and opportunities for women in academics and athletics.
Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire (2007)
Supreme Court decision denying a claim of sex discrimination in wages due to the fact that the plaintiff, Lily Ledbetter, failed to file her grievance within 180 days of the discrimination (required by law). The problem was that Ledbetter did not know she was being discriminated against at the time.
Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (2009)
First bill signed into law by Barack Obama, which expanded workers' rights to sue for discrimination in cases such as Ledbetter's.
LULAC
League of United Latin American Citizens. Established in 1929 to promote civil rights for Mexican-Americans through litigation and court battles modeled after the strategy of the NAACP. LULAC was successful in challenging school segregation in Texas and California before the Brown decision in 1954.
Cesar Chavez
Mexican-American civil rights activist and leader of the United Farm Workers. Successful in expanding civil rights in California and other states in the 1960s.
DREAM Act
Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. Proposal to provide permanent residency to children brought to the United States illegally and who lack legal documents. Such children have grown up in the U.S., attended American schools, speak English, and have no real connection to their home countries but become targets of deportation when they turn 18. First introduced into Congress in 2001 and defeated every year since.
Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)
Legislation that guarantees equal employment rights and access to public businesses for the disabled and prohibits discrimination in housing and health care.
Loving v. Virginia (1967)
Supreme Court decision that overturned state laws banning interracial marriage.
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
Supreme Court decision that overturned state laws banning same-sex marriage.
affirmative action
Government policies or programs that seek to redress past injustices against specific groups by making special efforts to provide members of those groups with access to educational and employment opportunities.
University of California v. Bakke (1978)
Supreme Court decision that upheld affirmative action in college admissions, but overturned racial quota systems. Essentially, schools could take race into account in order to create a diverse learning environment.
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
Supreme Court decision that upheld the use of race in a holistic review of applications as long as race was not quantified to give an objective advantage.
Fisher v. University of Texas (2013)
Most recent Supreme Court decision that upheld that use of race in a holistic review of college applications.
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