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Understand civil rights.
guarantees of equal treatment by govt officials regarding political rights, the judicial system, and public programs
Understand the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments.
13th: outlawed slavery throughout the US
- 14th: reversed Dred Scott by making all people who are born or naturalized in the US (black or white) citizens of the US and the state in which they reside.
- privileges and immunities clause - citizens from out of state have same legal rights as locals
- due process clause - prohibits states from depriving anyone of life, liberty or property without due process of law
- equal protection clause - states to provide equal treatment to all people within their boundaries
15th: states can not prevent people from voting on the grounds of race, color, or previous conditions of servitude
What did the court rule in Plessy v. Ferguson and in Brown v. Board of Education?
- Plessy v. Ferguson: Court said that the staes could separate the races in intrastate railways if they provided "equal" facilities for the races. gave "separate but equal" full constitutional status and legitimacy. this is referred to as Jim Crow
- Brown v. Board overturned Plessy over 50 years later
Know who Thurgood Marshall is and his position regarding civil rights.
- many of the key cases before the Supreme Court that eroded the official structure of segregation were argued by him for the NAACP (national assoc for advancement of colored people).
- went on to become a supreme court justice
Understand the significance of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Voting Rights Act: declared illegal the various devices used by the southern states to keep African Americans from the polls
Civil Rights Act: guarantees equal treatment in public accommodations
Understand the Regents v. Bakke case.
- Court authorized a compromise on affirmative action programs.
- prohibited employers and admissions people from using strictly racial quotas BUT it saw no problem with the use of race as one factor among several in hiring or college admissions
What are the arguments both for and against affirmative action?
- For: effects of past discrimination give disadvantage to groups
- tolerance and sense of community can only work if our work, school, etc. is diverse
- people from discriminated against groups will improve themselves if they have experience with successful role models in these institutions
- Against: violates Amer principle that people be treated as individuals not because they are members of a group or look a certain way
- benefits those within each preferred group who may not need help, what about the poor?
- seeks to remedy effects of past discrimination by discriminating against others today
- increases intergroup and interracial tension by heightening the saliency of group membership
Understand the significance of Roe v. Wade.
based a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy on privacy grounds rather than equal protection grounds
Understand how the civil rights umbrella is broadening.
the expansion of civil rights protections for women and racial minorities encouraged other groups to press for expanded rights protections
Know what the Americans with Disabilities Act entails.
prohibits employment discrimination against the disabled and requires that reasonable efforts be made to make places accessible to them
What was the don't ask don't tell policy?
gays and lesbians in military could serve so long as their sexual orientation stayed hidden. Obama got bill passed that allowed them to be open about it