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LS 400 Midterm 2 study guide

by: Wynetta McIntosh

LS 400 Midterm 2 study guide Legal Studies 400

Wynetta McIntosh

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About this Document

Exam Prep
Civil Rights
Professor Ion Mayn
Study Guide
50 ?




Popular in Civil Rights

Popular in Law and Legal Studies

This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Wynetta McIntosh on Monday March 14, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Legal Studies 400 at University of Wisconsin - Madison taught by Professor Ion Mayn in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see Civil Rights in Law and Legal Studies at University of Wisconsin - Madison.

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Date Created: 03/14/16
STUDY GUIDE - MIDTERM TWO – CIVIL RIGHTS (SPRING 2016) Description of exam: You will be asked two questions. For each question, you are permitted to write two pages (single-sided). Paper will be provided. Paper will also be provided if you need to make notes/outline. Study Topic One – Housing Discrimination (a) Be prepared to describe major attempts and efforts to ensure racially segregating housing in the United States. Understand these efforts (and any legal challenges to): 1. Zoning:  Buchanan vs warley o Explicit laws the drew boundaries that segregated owners and renters by race o Wharley (AA) tried to buy a home but the city said he couldn’t o Buchanan white man selling his property and brought a lawsuit against Wharley and Wharley won o Racial segregation of residential housing is unconstitutional and a violation of 14th amendment rights o Cannot have separate but equal in neighborhoods because you cannot control every aspect like you can in train cars (like in plessy) 2. Redlining  Federal program to insure mortgages, resulting in lower interests rates and lower down payments. Determined that AA and Latino neighborhoods were too risky to insure, The result: Black and Latino buyers could not secure mortgages  If you’re AA or Latino you have made the neighborhood unstable  Legal Implications? Fair Housing Act of 1968?  3. Restrictive covenants  Agreement that runs with the land among property owners that they would not sell or rent to AA and other racial minorities  Shelly vs Kramer (1947): do these types of private agreements violate the constitution?  Civil right act of 1883 solves this case (Private act cannot be disturbed/has nothing to do with 14th amendment)  Buchanan came in and they needed a way around racial segregation being banned  Covenants were not illegal, you just could not enforce them in court (Shelly)-> a lot of people followed contract that were not enforceable  Race neutral because it places an equal burden on each race (blacks can have covenants against whites just as whites can have covenants against blacks)  (b) Be able to summarize the Fair Housing Act of 1968. How did the FHA render racial covenants themselves illegal? o Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended,  prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in  other housing­related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion,  sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or  legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under  the age of 18), and disability.  o Use federal money to encourage racial integration in housing o FHA prohibited people from discriminating in housing based on protected categories (no more private covenants-> illegal & cannot take race into consideration when selling or buying property) o HUD enforcing it  (c) Why is enforcement of the FHA difficult? Does a person looking to rent an apartment necessarily know if she is subject to discrimination based on her race? What is racial steering and would someone subject to racial steering necessarily know it is occurring? Who are testers, what do they do, and why are they needed? (See, e.g., U.S. v. Dawson). o The enforcement of FHA is difficult because a person looking to rent an apartment does not know if they are being discriminated against based on their membership in a protected class o Discrimination was passive often in housing o People are more covert with their discrimination now that the act has passed o Racial steering is only showing a sector of available housing because of one’s race o No one could really know when they are subject to racial steering because it is so covert and hard to detect o Testers are people chosen by the government used to investigate housing discrimination (audit study) o Testers are needed because enforcing of FHA is difficult because of covert discrimination so testers are needed to detect patterns   ***(d) The Housing and Urban Housing agency (HUD) is charged with enforcing the FHA. Describe ways in which HUD has potentially undermined the original purpose of the FHA. What language in the FHA gives HUD the duty to facilitate racially integrated housing? What about the Block Grant Program of 1974 permitted HUD to funnel federal money to local jurisdictions with few strings attached? How has this policy encouraged racially segregated housing? o 1968- FHA, Amended in 88, Program in 74 o Nixon tried to undermine the FHA because money not regulated o No accountability for where/how money is spent o Language-> “Affirmatively further fair housing”-> Integration o Block Grant Program gave local jurisdictions less direction on where to spend money o By being super vague the states have more discretion o Encourages racially segregated housing because states are not regulated o “New Federalism”-> not going to dictate how localities spend their money  Study Topic Two – Voting Discrimination  (a) In its attempt to prohibit racial discrimination in the voting process, what does the Fifteenth Amendment’s language protect and arguably fail to protect? o Protects the rights of US citizen to vote o 15th amendment does not give anyone the right to vote, it just makes illegal any barriers to vote o It is up to states to decide who can vote o Does not specify types of elections o Doesn’t apply to registration o Does not specify who has right to vote    (b) How did states attempt to erect “race-neutral” mechanisms to disenfranchise voters based on race? Understand what literacy tests were and how literacy tests were administered. Understand how poll taxes and grandfather clauses operated. Understand the significance of vote dilution efforts, like annexations, gerrymandering, and the creation of at-large voting districts. Understand the debate over Voter ID laws. o The state's attempted to erect “race-neutral” mechanisms through several voter restriction clauses o Literacy tests:  written and oral  Have to have some sort of education to vote in elections (make sure they knew some info related to act of voting)  AA given virtually impossible tests to pass and whites given easy questions or no test at all even if they appeared to be illiterate o Poll taxes  Required tax to vote  Burdened the poor- disproportionately excluding AA and sharecroppers who did not deal in cash  Some poll taxes were cumulative (back taxes) o Grandfather clause  If your grandfather or father voted before 1867, you do not need to take literacy tests or pay poll tax etc.  Deemed unconstitutional in 1915 o Significance of vote dilution efforts  How do you make AA worthless even if they gain access to vote  At large districts vs. district elections: AA with majority in their own district can get black representative but with a collective voting pool with majority whites it is more likely that there will be majority if not all white representatives  Annexation: adding to something larger??? -> adding more territory to cities  Gerrymandering: redistricting so that minority vote has less say o Voting ID laws  For Voter ID: eliminate voter fraud, increases voter confidence, and accurate record keeping  Against Voter ID: violates the 14th amendment (due process and equal protection) & violates section 2 of VRA because it disproportionately impacts blacks and Latinos   (c) Some parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are permanent, like Section 2, and some parts of the act are subject to Congress’ periodic review, like Section 4 and 5. Why is this? In addressing this question, be prepared to explain the different degrees of intervention these sections permit—what do these sections do and how they are enforced? o Because section 4&5 upsets traditional notion of federalism, we have to periodically review it. o Section 2: congress should have power beyond judicial litigation to enforce this regulations & stop laws before they get put in place→ people have to put laws through congress before they get passed (become super legislature) (congress can stop it before it happens) (power to sue in federal court) o Section 4: establishes formula to identify areas of country in which racial discrimination in voting is prevalent (congress may use any rational means to effectuate the constitutional prohibition of racial voting discrimination) o Section 5: If an area qualifies for section 4 and seeks to make any change in any “voting qualification or prereq to voting” the “covered” area must secure “preclearance”- federal permission. Permission is granted or denied by U.S. Attorney General (DOJ) or the DC District court.    (d) After conducting a series of fact-finding hearings, in 2006 Congress reaffirmed the need for Sections 4 and 5 of the VRA. Shelby County, Alabama, challenged the federal government’s authority to subject it to these sections. What was the Shelby case’s impact on the VRA and what was the Court’s reasoning? Also, how did Shelby change the standard of judicial review for any future attempt by Congress to create a preclearance mechanism? o Must show that exceptional conditions still exists that would justify an extraordinary departure from the traditional course of relations between the states and the federal government o Wasn’t needed because so much progress has been made o Looked at registration rates and saw that there was no problem o Deterrent effect: slows up process (we don’t want what they’re doing to them so we’re going to act right) o Way more difficult for interpretation


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