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Civil Rights Supreme Court Cases

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Plessy v. Ferguson
(1896) the Court found that separate but equal accommodations did not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
Brown v. Board of Education
(1954) Supreme Court decision holding that school segregation is inherently unconstitutional because it violates the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection; marked the end of legal segregation in the United States
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States
using the commerce clause as justification for this federal government ruling, aid that places of public acccommodation cannot pick and choose guests
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education
(1971) Supreme Court ruled that all vestiges of state-imposed discrimination must be eliminated at once; no segregation or discrimination in busing
Richmond v. Corson
The Supreme Court ruled that a "set-aside" protocol (i.e., requiring that at least 30% of construction jobs be reserved for blacks) was a violation of the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment.
Gratz v. Bollinger
(2003) the Court struck down the University of Michigan's undergraduate point system, which gave minority applicants twenty automatic points simply because they were minorities
Muller v. Oregon
(1908) case that ruled Oregon's law barring women from working more than ten hours a day was constitutional; also an attempt to define women's unique status as mothers to justify their differential treatment
Reed v. Reed
(1971) turned the tide in terms of constitutional litigation, ruling that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited unreasonable classifications based on sex
Craig v. Boren
(1976) the Court ruled that keeping drunk drivers off the roads may be an impoprtmt governmental objective, but allowing women aged eighteen to twenty-one to drink alcoholic beverages while prohibiting men of the same age from drinking is not substantially related to that goal
Dothard v. Rawlinson
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer may not, in the absence of business necessity, set height and weight restrictions which have a disproportionately adverse effect on one gender.
UAW v. Johnson Controls
(1991), ruled that a female employee cannot be excluded from jobs that expose her to health risks that might harm a fetus she carries
Romer v. Evans
(1996) a Colorado constitutional amendment precluding any legislative, executive, or judicial action with any state or local level designed to bar discrimination based on sexual preference was ruled not rational or reasonable
Bowers v. Hardwick
(1986) unsuccessful attempt to challenge Georgia's sodomy law; the case was overturned by Lawrence v. Texas in 2003
Lawrence v. Texas
(2003) the Court reversed its 1986 ruling in Bowers v. Hardwick by finding a Texas statute that banned sodomy to be unconstitutional
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier
The Court held that public school curricular student newspapers that have not been established as forums for student expression are subject to a lower level of First Amendment protection than independent student expression or newspapers established (by policy or practice) as forums for student expression.
Bethel School District v. Fraser
A school can suspend a student for giving a speech full of sexual innuendo and metaphor
New Jersey v. TLO
Supreme court case in which it was decided that a student may be searched if there is "reasonable ground" for doing so.
Vernonia v. Acton
School drug tests were legal because it was for the safety of minors. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States reasoned that drug testing of student athletes was constitutional. The Court accepted the argument that student rights were lessened at school if it was necessary to maintain student safety and to fulfill the educational mission of the school.