legal studies FINAL paper

legal studies FINAL paper - Legal Studies 12/9/09 In todays...

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Legal Studies 12/9/09 In today’s world, law is a powerful idea, which defines what people do. Law is there to establish rules and regulations in a community by some authority, whether in the form of legislation or by policies recognized and enforced by a judicial decision. Law can also be seen as important to social change by looking at legal rights as ideals, and breathing new life into already existing laws. The social movements are animated and driven by a broad better vision of society. When people rally for a cause of some sort, they look to take a stand against something they want to change, whether it is in regards to changing a law, or creating one to ensure equal rights. Usually these activists are fighting against a form of oppression in hopes to ensure a better future. Legal relations and institutions tend to be double edged, acting in two ways both helping and hindering the public’s hope for social change. The law will benefit the people, by allowing them to fight and stand up for what they believe in, but law also hinders the people by oppressing them. Law can often be double edged, acting beneficial to the people, but also oppressing them, therefore making social change a harder goal to achieve. Law makes social change harder for the people by acting beneficial and disadvantageous can be seen in court cases regarding the rights of homosexuals. In Colorado an amendment was made to the state constitution that prevented any city, town or county from taking an action from recognizing homosexual citizens as a protected class. The people who wrote the amendment claimed homosexuals would be receiving special rights if a law was passed protecting them from discrimination. By creating this amendment a whole group of Colorado citizens are being oppressed by the law. The amendment was taken to the Supreme Court in a case, Romer v. Evans, where the judges
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rule that Amendment 2 was inconsistent with the US Constitution. Denying a group of people a right that everyone else has is unfair. Therefore when homosexuals were being singled out, they were being denied rights that others had. In the conclusion of the affirming opinion the judges stated, “We must conclude that Amendment 2 classifies homosexuals not to further a proper legislative end but to make them unequal to everyone else. This Colorado cannot do. A State cannot so deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws…” (Romer v. Evans, pg 176). In another case regarding the rights of homosexuals, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health a similar predicament is shown. In Massachusetts a civil marriage is between two people and the state. Multiple same sex couples were denied marriage licenses, and were upset when they were unable to be legally married. Marriage provides many benefits, and denying same sex couples the right to marry interferes with the Massachusetts constitution. The constitution states, “The Massachusetts Constitution
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2011 for the course LEGAL 250 taught by Professor Holmes during the Fall '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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legal studies FINAL paper - Legal Studies 12/9/09 In todays...

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