Unformatted text preview: Racial Equality and the Search for Justice Slavery & the Constitution Article I, Section 2 Three-Fifths Compromise Article I, Section 9 1808 Compromise Article IV, Section 2--Fugitive Slave Clause Slavery protected for racial, economic, pragmatic reasons Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) Is a Negro a citizen of US? No (7-2) Taney: Negroes are beings of an inferior order...; unfit to associate with the white race.... Missouri Compromise (1820) declared void Reconstruction Amendments 13th outlawed slavery 14th--all persons born in US are citizens Overruled Dred Scott Equal Protection Clause: no state shall ...deny to any person ...equal protection of the laws. 15th--guaranteed right to vote 1865-77: federal involvement would punish South Civil Rights Cases (1883)--Court denied fed. govt attempts to outlaw private discrimination; overturned Civil Rights Act (1875) Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) [Reader, pp. 79-82] Does Louisiana law segregating railway coaches violate Equal Protection Clause? NO (7-1) Justice Brown: reasonable regulation; state is at liberty to act with reference to ...established usages, customs, and traditions... Harlan dissent: Our Constitution is colorblind ...; all citizens are equal before the law. Quest for Equality--20th Century Progressive Era (1900-1920) ignored civil rights 1938--court outlawed denial of admission to black applicant to Univ. of Missouri Law 1944--court overturned whites-only primary 1948--court ruled against state-enforced restrictive covenants in housing 1948--struggle in Democratic party over race Sweatt v. Painter (1950) Black applicant to UT Law denied admission; accepted to blacks-only school in Austin Is this a denial of Equal Protection? YES UT Law was superior in both tangible and intangible assets not equal Status of "separate but equal" in early 1950s Pervasive segregation in both public and private accommodations Public Education: 17 states required segregation; 4 more made it optional 5 cases were before USSC: Kansas, Delaware, Virginia, and South Carolina; also Washington, DC Eisenhower elected in 1952 First argued before Court in 1952; reargued in 1953 after death of CJ Vinson; appt. of Earl Warren Brown v. Bd. Of Educ. (1954/55) [Reader, pp. 82-85] Does segregation on racial grounds deprive children of equal educational opportunity? YES unanimous ruling Warren: ...in the field of public education, separate but equal` has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. But Court was cautious about implementation; all deliberate speed order in 1955 Resistance to Brown Southern Manifesto--96 members of Congress called ruling ...clear abuse of judicial power. Some reluctance by Eisenhower to enforce Brown, but did uphold desegregation in Little Rock, AR (1958) Congress acts--Civil Rights Act (1964); Voting Rights Act (1965) 1968-69 Court overturned all deliberate speed order Desegregation in 1990s Rehnquist Court began stepping away from strong federal involvement in desegregation Oklahoma City Schools v. Dowell (1991) and Freeman v. Pitts (1992) If schools have taken remedial action in good faith, federal supervision is temporary measure Eliminating segregation to the extent practicable means that desegregation need not operate in perpetuity Race and Roberts Court Meredith v. Jefferson County Bd. of Education (2007) Public schools in hundreds of districts in US have used race as a factor in assigning students to various schools search for racial balance Louisville, KY had been under court order since 1975 to remove all vestiges of racial segregation Beginning in 2000, it tried to maintain a black enrollment btw. 15-50% among its 97,000 students Plan was challenged by parents opposed to racial assignment plan. Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District (2007) District was never segregated by law but had severe racial imbalances; mandatory busing in 1970s/`80s 1996 School Bd. adopted a student-choice plan for 10 high schools; race of student was a tie-breaker if balance deviated more than 10% from district`s overall balance of 41%/59% white//nonwhite portions Kept only a few dozen students each yr. from attending school of their choice Does use of person's race, even for purpose of achieving diversity, violate Equal Protection Clause? Yes (5-4) Roberts The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race. When it comes to using race to assign children to schools, history will be heard. Kennedy concurrence: 4 justices were too dismissive of goals of avoiding racial isolation and addressing problems of de facto re-segregation Justice Breyer dissent: said ruling was a radical step away from settled law; it would strip local communities of the tools they need to prevent re-segregation. This is a decision that the court and the nation will come to regret. ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course PSC 2302 taught by Professor Dr.riley during the Spring '08 term at Baylor.
- Spring '08