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Lecture 5 Civil Rights - Civil Rights Lecture 5 PLSC 112...

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Civil Rights Lecture 5 PLSC 112 Highlights 14 th amendment Women’s movement Disabled Americans Gays and Lesbians African Americans How far has America come? (news tapes) Introduction Although the United States is a land of astonishing diversity, the rights proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and in the legal language of the Constitution are not enjoyed equally by all Americans. The key question addressed in this chapter is: Will the nation support programs that try to deal with some of the causes of racial inequality – poverty, hunger, discrimination, and unemployment – or will the public support substantial cuts in the government programs created to alleviate these problems? The Equal Protection Clause – Fourteenth Amendment Three test for abridging of rights Fundamental rights – Suspect Classification & Rational Basis Test. Strict Scrutiny Suspect Classification- Race is subject to strict scrutiny by the courts, if the law is justified by a compelling state interest. Fundamental rights abridged then it is also subject to strict scrutiny. The Equal Protection Clause – Fourteenth Amendment Intermediate Scrutiny Laws based on gender classifications are permissible if they are related to an achievement of a vital government objective. The Rational Basis Test (Ordinary Scrutiny)
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Justices ask whether the discrimination is rational. A reasonable way to achieve a legitimate governmental objective? Women Though not numerically a minority, women are considered a minority as they have faced a history of discrimination in the United States. Although several high-profile women in politics have gained notoriety in recent years, sex discrimination is far from eradicated in American society. Women have gained rights, responsibilities, and power but still bump up against the “glass ceiling” in the corporate world. The evolving role of women and the family in the United States and its impact on women’s ability to succeed outside the home The political movement for an equal rights amendment and the development of the
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