Policies and court cases in the evolution of civil

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Business Law: Text and Cases
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Chapter 24 / Exercise 07
Business Law: Text and Cases
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policies, and court cases in the evolution of civil rights, including Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, and California Proposition 209.
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Business Law: Text and Cases
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Chapter 24 / Exercise 07
Business Law: Text and Cases
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An Age of Limits 819 On October 8, 1977, protestors march in suppport of affirmative action at a park in Oakland, California. THINKING CRITICALLY CONNECT TO HISTORY 1. Evaluating Research articles about Bakke in the library or on the Internet. Read the articles and write a para- graph for each one explaining the writer’s point of view on the case. Conclude by telling which article gives the best discussion of the case. Cite examples to support your choice. SEE SKILLBUILDER HANDBOOK, PAGE R16. CONNECT TO TODAY 2. Visit the links for Historic Decisions of the Supreme Court to research and read about Proposition 209, California’s 1996 law banning affirmative action at state universities. Prepare arguments for an in-class debate about whether the law will have a positive or negative long-term effect. WHY IT MATTERED Many people have faced discrimination in America. The struggle of African Americans for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s succeeded in overturning Jim Crow segregation. Even so, social inequality persisted for African Americans, as well as women and other minor- ity groups. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson explained why more proactive measures needed to be taken to end inequality. You do not take a person who for years has been hobbled by chains and . . . bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. As a result, Johnson urged companies to begin to take “affirmative action” to hire and promote African Americans, helping them to overcome generations of inequality. Critics quickly opposed affirmative action plans as unfair to white people and merely a replace- ment of one form of racial discrimination with another. University admissions policies became a focus of the debate over affirmative action. The Court’s ruling in Bakke allowed race to be used as one factor in admis- sions decisions. Schools could consider a prospective student’s race, but they could not use quotas or use race as the only factor for admission. HISTORICAL IMPACT Since Bakke, the Court has ruled on affirmative action several times, usually limiting affirmative-action plans. For example, in Adarand Constructors v. Pena (1995), the Court struck a federal law to set aside “not less than 10 percent” of highway construction funds for businesses owned by “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.” The Court said that affirmative-action pro- grams must be narrowly focused to achieve a “com- pelling government interest.” On cases regarding school affirmative-action plans, the Supreme Court has chosen not to act. The Court refused to hear a case challenging a California law ban- ning the consideration of race or gender for admission to the state’s universities. Similarly, the Court refused to

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