LO-06+Equal+Rights+Struggle

LO-06 Equal Rights S - The Struggle for Equal Rights The Meaning of Political Equality People not born with equal Americans generally believe

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The Struggle for Equal Rights The Meaning of “Political Equality” People not born with equal Americans generally believe people should be o o provided equal opportunity This means, as minimum, share equal procedural guarantees But more: It means o people should not be treated differently because race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, wealth, etc o If they are we call this “discrimination” Nevertheless people have been/are treated unequally Why are people treated unequally? Rights are power o To preserve our current values To preserve our sense of superiority Role of Government: To decide under what circumstances? Role of the Supreme Court Has played a major role and views have changed over time Legal Classifications – when SC reviews laws that treat people differently it looks for some specific characteristics in those laws 1
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1 st : Suspect o SC subjects such laws to heightened level of examination Strict Scrutiny o Govt must have a compelling state interest for the law to stand 2 nd : Quasisuspect Classifications o SC subjects such laws to an intermediate standard of review o Govt must have an important state interest 3 rd : Nonsuspect Classifications o SC subjects such laws to the minimum rationality test o Govt must have a rational basis for making the law Fight for “Suspect Status” Groups wish to gain “suspect status” because o SC unlikely to permit any laws that treat them differently Kinds of Equality Procedural: equal opportunity Substantive: equal outcomes Rights denied on the basis of race: African Americans The Problem of Racism o morally wrong. o counterproductive in practice Before Civil War o 4 million slaves in South o 1/2 million blacks elsewhere 2
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o But they did not enjoy full rights of citizenship o Dred Scott v. Sanford - 1857 Aftermath of the Civil War o 13th Amendment - bans slavery - Dec 1865 o But “Black codes” o Reconstruction o Some progress o 14th Amendment – equal protection - Jul 1868 o 15th Amendment - right to vote not limited by race, color, previous condition of servitude - Feb 1870 o Reconstruction effectively over by 1876 o Then southern whites set out to disenfranchise the blacks
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2011 for the course INTA 1200 taught by Professor Birchfield during the Spring '08 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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LO-06 Equal Rights S - The Struggle for Equal Rights The Meaning of Political Equality People not born with equal Americans generally believe

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