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LGST 101 Lecture 3

In 1839 natural right to freedom in 1857 and

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In 1839, natural right to freedom In 1857, and interpreting the same statute (the Constitution): o Blacks can’t be citizens, because of their race o Blacks are property, and property can be bought and sold o Takes Amistad case and reverses it entirely Note the Constitution did not change at all, yet the ruling of the two cases were completely opposite o Emancipation Proclamation Supposed to free slaves in southern territory England wanted to support the South for its cotton But slavery (including ownership) was illegal in England o So the English did not involve themselves in war o Lincoln kept England out of the war So it was a great political statement It did not free one slave since it only applied to southern rebellion states where it could not be enforced In New Orleans (northern territory), slavery was legal In the rest of Louisiana, slavery was illegal Led to Civil War Amendments 1865 – 13 th Amendment o Outlawed slavery everywhere in US o The issue that had been a thorn in the side for over a century was now settled 1865 – 14 th Amendment o All persons born or naturalized in the US are citizens of US No state shall abridge the privileges of the US o Overrode Dread Scott, which said blacks were property o Everybody who is born here or immigrated here and meets criteria is a citizen 1870—15 th Amendment o Cannot take away the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude o But it didn’t say anything about other reasons So new laws were made Literacy tests Poll tax tests o 15 th Amendment had a good idea, but it was very specific and allowed other grounds for limitations that were
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probably not in the minds of the Congressmen when it was created So these were three big changes in the fundamental document o What does it mean? o Plessy vs. Ferguson Black family got on train, were required to sit in a particular car Yes, you can keep races separate, but the treatment of both must be equal This second part regarding equality was new Decision was very liberal It didn’t work Separation was maintained, but equality was not o NAACP takes this on Looked at schools in South Schools for whites were nice, but those for minorities were not NAACP sued on the grounds of inequality The school board had to make schools equal, and they did for a while But once the NAACP moved on, the minority schools reverted to their bad practices o Constitution in terms of civil rights has not changed since Plessy vs. Ferguson during time of Brown vs. Board of Education But in Brown vs. Board of Education (mid 1950s), Supreme Court established that separate can never be equal Separate is by definition unequal Another landmark change But note that the Constitution did not change Supreme Court read the temper of society and what was the expectation of society The Constitution was fitted in accordance with society’s needs Change is frequent, though not always in the most evident ways We’ll be talking about judicial application of statutory law Alongside courts of law, there are other court systems, which do other things, but are complementary o Administrative law agencies
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In 1839 natural right to freedom In 1857 and interpreting...

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