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HIST471 DAC Cases Exam 3

Terms in this set (27)

Context: The court closely followed the 1964 Civil rights act, aware that its passage would align all three branches in advocating equal rights for all Americans.In direct violation of the terms of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned racial discrimination in public places, largely based on Congress's control of interstate commerce, the Heart of Atlanta motel refused to rent rooms to African-American patrons.

Facts: In this case, a unanimous court upheld congressional power to legislate in this area under the Commerce Clause. The decisions are important not only for the impact they had on the civil rights movement, but also for the court's broad view of congressional power under the commerce clause

Opinion: In a unanimous decision, the court found that Congress did not unconstitutionally exceed its powers under the Commerce Clause by enacting Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibited racial discrimination in public accommodations. Northern District of Georgia affirmed.

Constitutional Principles: Fourteenth amendment; Commerce clause in regards to regulating interstate business by preventing discrimination on a federal level Interesting how they approached a civil rights case by calling on the commerce clause to regulate interstate business.

DAC Quote: "It is said that the operation of the motel here is of a purely local character. But, assuming this to be true, 'if it is interstate commerce that feels the pinch,, it does not matter how local the operation that applies the squeeze... Thus the power of Congress to promote interstate commerce also includes the power to regulate the local incidents..." Justice Clark p. 838

American Core Values: Equality
Context: Following passage of the 1964 Civil rights Act, leaders of the black community urged congress to pass a measure protecting the right to vote. In Alabama, despite blacks making up half the vote, they accounted for 1% of registed voters.

Facts: In 1965, Congress responded with the Voting Rights Act, which authorized the attorney general to send feds into any county suspect of discrimination, suspended literacy tests, and allowed state attorney supervision of voting registration. black votes went from 10-60% registration.
Southern states challenged the power of the law, claiming section 2 gave congress the power to forbid violations of voting rights.

Opinion: In an 8 to 1 vote , the court upheld the decision to pass the Voting Rights Act. Warren delivered the opinion, and Black was the lone dissenter

Constitutional Principles: Fifteenth amendment and Congress' power within it; Thirteenth amendment and blacks equality

DAC Quote: "The language and purpose of the fifteenth amendment, the prior decisions construing its several provisions, and the general doctrines of constitutional interpretation, all point to one fundamental principle. As against the reserved powers of the States, Congress may use any rational means to effectuate the constitutional prohibition of racial discrimination in voting." - Justice Warren p.843
" The Voting Rights Act of 1965 reflects Congress' firm intention to rid the country of racial discrimination in voting. The heart of the Act is a complex scheme of stringent remedies aimed at areas where voting discrimination has been most flagrant" - Justice Warren p. 843
American Core Values: Equality; Social mobility
Context: Single-sex schools were the norm in the US< but by 1990, there were less than a handful of all-male colleges. Two of the nation's oldest military academies, the Citadel in Charleston, SC and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia, held the traditional role of educating male officers

Facts: The Citadel was the object of negative press when it mishandled the court-required admission of women, with authorities allowing cadets to harass the women beyond the scope of tradition.
The Court of Appeals ruled that VMI violated the equal protection clause. It gave the state three options: admit women, establish an all women school, or become a private school. VWIL, an all womens school, was established, but the Justice department argued a separate program for women was not equal, and appealed to the supreme court.

Opinion: In a 7 to 1 ruling, the court agreed with the Justice Department and stated that developing a womens program was not enough to adhere to the equal protection clause
After the decision, the VMI board considered turning into a private college, but eventually bowed to the court's decision.

Constitutional Principles: 14th amendment

DAC Quote: "Women seeking and fit for a VMI quality education cannot be offered anything less, under the State's obligation to afford them genuinely equal protection. There is no reason to believe that the admission of women capable of all the activities reqired of VMI cadets would destroy the Institute rather than enhance its capacity to serve the 'more perfect Union.'" - Justice Ginsburg , p. 1056

American Core Values: Equality, Traditionalism vs. Modernity