Objectives Distinguish civil rights from civil liberties. Identify major civil rights policies that the president, the courts, and Congress have adopted.
Rights and Liberties Civil rights Allow individuals to participate in government Ensure all individuals receive due process and equal treatment under the law Grant freedom from oppression Civil liberties Freedom from government interference in certain individual actions
CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS FOR RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES Bill of Rights Civil War Amendments 13th, 14th, 15 th New voting groups 15th, 19th, 24th, 26th Judicial interpretation 9th Amendment and Privacy
Privacy Do you have a right to privacy? The USSC says yes, generally citing the 9 th Amendment. The 3 rd, 4 th, and 5 th Amendments have also been useful when making this argument. Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) Roe v. Wade (1973)
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) The Supreme Court ruled that there was such thing as a right to privacy. Connecticut tried to ban any form of contraception but the USSC argued that this violated a right to marital privacy.
Roe v. Wade (1973) Ruled that the right to privacy extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion. Though this reduced restrictions around abortions, states still have a legitimate interest in protecting prenatal life.
RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES FAILURES Alien and Sedition Acts Slavery and African Americans Jim Crow era Immigrants Japanese internment
Alien and Sedition Acts These laws passed in 1798 allowed the president to imprison or deport those seen as a threat to the security of the United States. They also restricted speech that was critical of the federal government.
Slavery Abolishing slavery was discussed at the Constitutional Convention but was ultimately left up to the states. The North would slowly outlaw the practice between 1790 and 1804, but it persisted in the South for many decades.
Jim Crow Laws Established a system of segregation of public facilities and private establishments that made African-American second class citizens. Even outside of the South, blacks experienced significantly lower levels of education, income, and health.
Immigrants The United States has a history of hostility towards immigrants. For example, it was not uncommon to see signs that read “Irish need not apply” in 1850s New England. Chinese who came work on railroads were mistreated and even denied citizenship. Following 9/11, Arab immigrants were deported for such minor infractions as making typos on immigration forms.
Japanese Internment More than 120,000 Japanese Americans were confined to relocation camps within the United States. In Korematsu v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that national security was more important than the individual rights of the imprisoned individuals.
Court Legitimacy Courts can protect against “tyranny of the majority” but must rely on elected branches for enforcement Unpopular decisions are rare School prayer School desegregation Courts have also failed to uphold rights Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) Major rulings of the Civil Rights Movement: Smith v. Allwright (1944) Sweatt v. Painter (1950) Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) Overruled Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) An black man, Dred Scott, was moved by his owners to a free state and tried to sue for his freedom. The Supreme Court ruled that as a black man, he could not be an American citizen and therefore had no standing to sue.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Upheld the constitutionality of segregation policies under the “separate but equal” principle.
Smith v. Allwright (1944) Smith, a black man, sued the county for allowing the Democratic Party to bar him from participating in their primary election. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor and therefore overturned the Texas state law that allowed the Democratic Party to set its own rules.
Sweatt v. Painter (1950) Challenged the “separate but equal” established by Plessy v. Ferguson. Sweatt was denied admission into the University of Texas Law School based on Texas law prohibiting integrated education. The Supreme Court ruled that a separate law school for him was unacceptable.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson Ruled that separate was inherently unequal
Women’s Suffrage Movement 19 th Amendment Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Equal Rights Amendment
Affirmative Action Attempt to redress past wrongs University admissions, federal contracts, state and city jobs Increases diversity Reverses discrimination Court rulings have been mixed Regents v. Bakke (1978) Bollinger cases (2003) Fisher v. University of Texas (2013)
Regents v. Bakke (1978) Upheld affirmative action, declaring race could be used as one of many factors. Outlawed the use of specific quotas when considering who to admit.
Bollinger cases (2003) Again upheld affirmative action, ruling that schools had a compelling interest in promoting diversity. Race could be a factor, but could not be the determining factor.
Fischer v. University of Texas (2003) Abigail Fischer filed suit arguing that the University of Texas was not operating in a fashion consistent with Bollinger and Bakke. The Supreme Court ruled in the University’s favor, upholding their race-conscious admissions process.
GAY RIGHTS Some cities and states now ban discrimination based on sexual orientation Same-sex marriage and civil unions Civil rights of marriage Religious values Full faith and credit clause Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 Sec. 3 ruled unconstitutional in 2013 Military service Outright ban until 1993 “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (1993–2010) Repealed in 2010
Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Struck down Texas’s sodomy law, therefore striking all other sodomy laws, which made same sex sexual activity legal in every state.
Incorporation Process of applying the Bill of Rights to the states Equal protection and due process clauses of the 14 th amendment Supreme Court has proceeded slowly with incorporation
Gun Control Second Amendment is vague Is the right to bear arms unlimited or only in connection to state militias? Limits on what can and cannot be banned Assault weapons District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) McDonald v. Chicago (2010)
District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Protects an individual’s right to bear arms for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self defense and recreation. However, this only applied to federal enclaves (like DC) and not to the states.
McDonald v. Chicago (2010) The Supreme Court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms also applied to the states.