Pol 1101: Government in America CH. 5 Notes
Pol 1101: Government in America CH. 5 Notes POL 1101 - GP
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Date Created: 09/20/16
Ch 5 Civil Rights and Public Policy Politics in Action: Launching the Civil Rights Movement All men are created equal Civil Rights- are policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals. 5.1 The Struggle for Equality The fight for equality has affected all Americans. The struggle has involved defining the term equality. Constitutionally-interpreting laws Politically- power Concepts of Equality Everyone is entitled to equal rights and have the same chance to succeed. The Constitution and Inequality Constitution – plan for government not individual rights Bill of Rights – individual rights, not equality th The first and only place in which the idea of equality appears in the Constitution – The 14 Amendment 13 – abolished slavery th 15 – African Americans right to vote 14 – forbids the states from denying to anyone “equal protection of the laws “ Equal protection of the laws – The supreme court developed three levels of scrutiny, or analysis, called the standards of review. The court has ruled that to pass constitutional muster, most classifications must only be reasonable. Inherently suspect- classifications based on gender receive intermediate scrutiny 5.2 African Americans’ Civil Rights African Americans have always been the most visible minority group in the United States. Slavery For the first 250 years of American settlement, most African Americans lived in slavery. Dred Scott v. Sandford – a black man, slave or free, was “chattel” and had no rights under a white man’s government. Congress had no authority to ban slavery in the territories. Missouri Compromise (1820) – had allowed Missouri to become a slave state on the condition that northern territories would remain free of slavery. Dred Scott decision was an important milestone on the road to the Civil War The Union victory in the Civil War and the ratification o the 13 Amendment ended slavery. Reconstruction and Segregation After the Civil War ended, Congress imposed strict conditions on the former Confederate states before it would seat their representatives and senators. Freedmen’s Bureau, provided assistance to former slaves who were making the difficult transition from slavery to freedom. Jim Crow Laws – segregationist laws, on African Americans Separate but equal KKK terrorized African Americans who violated the norms of segregation, lynching hundreds of people. In the Civil Rights Cases (1883), it held that the 14 Amendment did not prohibit racial discrimination by private business and individuals. The Court then provided a constitutional justification for segregation in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson. The Louisiana legislature had required “equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races”. The leading edge of change, however, was in education. Equal Education Education is at the core of Americans’ beliefs in equal opportunity. In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court set aside its precedent in Plessy and held that school segregation was inherently unconstitutional because it violates the 14h Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. Not all racial segregation is what is called de jure (“by law”) segregation. De facto (“in reality”) segregation results, for example, when children are assigned to schools near their homes and those homes are in neighborhoods that are racially segregated for social and economic reasons. The Civil Rights Movement and Public Policy The civil rights movement used tactics such as sit-ins, marches, and civil disobedience. The 1950s and 1960s saw a marked increase in public policies seeking to foster racial equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the most important civil rights law in nearly a century. o Made racial discrimination illegal in hotels, motels, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation. o Forbade discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender o Created the EEOC to monitor and enforce protections against job discrimination. o Provided for withholding federal grants from state and local governments and other institutions that practiced racial discrimination. o Strengthened voting rights legislation o Authorized the U.S Justice Department to initiate lawsuits to desegregate public schools and facilities. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the most extensive federal effort to crack century-old barriers to African Americans voting in the South. Voting Rights Suffrage – the legal right to vote 15 Amendment guaranteed African Americans the right to vote. th States developed ingenious methods to circumventing the 15 Amendment. Many states required potential voters to complete literacy tests before registering to vote. Read, write, and show that they understood the state constitution or the U.S Constitution. Grandfather clause – exempted persons whose grandfathers were eligible to vote in 1860 from taking these tests. Poll taxes – small taxes levied on the right to vote White primary – a device that permitted political parties to exclude African Americans from voting in primary elections. th The 24 Amendment – prohibited poll taxes in federal elections. To combat the use of discriminatory voter registration tests the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited any government from using voting procedures that denied a person the vote on the basis of race or color, it also abolished the use of literacy requirements for anyone who had completed the 6 grade. 5.3 The Rights of Other Minority Groups Minority Majority – a situation in which Americans who are members of minority groups will outnumber Americans of European descent. Native Americans The earliest inhabitants of the continent, the oldest minority group. The U.S. policy promoted westward expansion at the expense of Native Americans’ lands. The government isolated them on reservations, depriving them of their lands and their rights. 1924-made them citizens and gave them the right to vote. Hispanic Americans Hispanic Americans have displaced African Americans as the largest minority group. Hernandez v. Texas 1954 – Supreme Court decision that extended protection against discrimination to Hispanics. Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) In 1975 Texas revised its education laws to withhold state funds for educating children who have not been legally admitted to the United States The court observed that denying them an education would likely contribute to “the creation and perpetuation of a subclass of illiterates within our boundaries, surely adding to the problems and costs of unemployment, welfare, and crime.” Nevertheless, poverty, discrimination, and language barriers continue to depress Hispanic voter registration and turnout. Asian Americans Fast growing minority group Discrimination was especially egregious during WWII when the U.S. government, beset by fears of a Japanese invasion of the Pacific Coast, rounded up 100,00 Americans of Japanese descent and herded them into encampments. Korematsu v. United States (1944) upheld the internment as constitutional Today they have assumed prominent positions in U.S. society. Arab Americans and Muslims Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 those perceived to be members of these groups have been the victims of increased numbers of bias-related assaults, threats, vandalism, and arson. As well as discrimination in employment, housing, education, and access to public accommodations and facilities. 5.4 The Rights of Women The first women’s rights activists were products of the abolitionist movement, in which they had often encountered sexist attitudes. Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized a meeting at Seneca Falls in New York. The Battle for the Vote July 19, 1848 , 100 men and women signed the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions. 19 Amendment gave women the right to vote Susan B. Anthony The “Doldrums”: 1920-1960 Winning the right to vote did not automatically win equal status for women Voting was the only goal that all feminist agreed on There was considerable division within the movement on other priorities Many suffragists accepted the traditional model of the family. Men – Breadwinners, Mothers – bread bakers. State laws tended to reflect and reinforce traditional family roles Equal Rights Amendment The Second Feminist Wave The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s attracted many female activists In Reed v. Reed (1971), the court ruled that any “arbitrary” gender-based classification violated th the equal protection clause of the 14 Amendment. Craig v. Boren – established an “intermediate scrutiny” Women in the Workplace The family pattern that traditionalists sought to preserve – father at work, mother at home – is becoming a thing of the past. Wage Discrimination and Comparable Worth o Traditionally female jobs often pay much less than male jobs o The Equal Pay Act of 1963 makes it illegal to pay different wages to men and women if they perform equal work in the same workplace Employment o The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned gender discrimination in employment. o The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 made it illegal for employers to exclude pregnancy and childbirth from their sick leave and health benefits plans o The Civil Rights and Women’s Equity in Employment Act of 1991 shifted the burden of proof in justifying hiring and promotion practices to employers, who must show that a gender requirement is necessary for a particular job. Education o Title IX of the Education Act of 1972 forbids gender discrimination in federally subsidized education programs including athletics. Military Service o Women have served in every branch of the armed forces since WWII o Women are now permitted to serve in the most intense and physically hazardous combat positions in the military, including the Navy SEALs and the Army Rangers. o Nevertheless, the Supreme Court held in 1981 that it is permissible to require only men register for the military draft when they turn 18. Sexual Harassment Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature … when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment 5.5 Other Groups Active Under the Civil Rights Umbrella Civil Rights and the Graying of America America is aging rapidly People in their 80s are the fastest-growing age group in the country. 65 was chosen as the retirement age for the purpose of benefits. Age discrimination was not limited to older workers Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Congress banned some kinds of age discrimination Civil Rights and People with Disabilities Americans with disabilities have suffered from both direct and indirect discrimination. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 added people with disabilities to the list of Americans protected from discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) required employers and administrators of public facilities to make “reasonable accommodations” and prohibited employment discrimination against people with disabilities. LGBT Rights Today the most prominent issue concerning gay rights may be same-sex marriage. In 1996 Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which permits states to disregard same-sex marriages even if they are legal elsewhere in the US. 5.6 Affirmative Action Affirmative Action involves efforts to bring about increased employment, promotion, or admission for members of groups who have suffered from discrimination. The goal is to move beyond equal opportunity (in which everyone has the same chance of obtaining good jobs) towards equal results (in which different groups have the same percentage of success in obtaining those jobs). Regents of the University of California v. Bakke Adarand Constructors v. Pena 5.7 Understanding Civil Rights and Public Policy The Constitution is silent on the issue of equality, except in the 14 Amendment, which forbids the states to deny “equal projection of the laws.” Civil Rights and Democracy Equality is a basic principle of democracy Individual liberty is an equally important democratic principle, one that can conflict with equality. Equality tends to favor majority rule Politically and socially powerful minorities have suppressed majorities as well as other minorities Civil Rights and the Scope of Government The founders might be greatly perturbed if they knew about all the civil rights law the th government has enacted; these laws do not conform to the 18 century idea of limited government. The founders would expect the national government to do whatever is necessary to hold the nation together. Civil rights laws increase the scope and power of the government. However, civil rights, like civil liberties, is an area in which increased government activity in protecting basic rights also represents limits on government and the protection of individualism.
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