The civil rights era for African-Americans began with the Brown decision.
The most significant Supreme Court decision in the history of the Court was called Brown v Board of Education by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer at his confirmation hearings.
The Court redefined the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment in a unanimous decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren.
A survey taken on the 50th anniversary of the Brown decision shows that many school districts have not fulfilled the Brown vision.
De jure segregation was ended by Brown.
States and local governments have been able to continue the practice of segregating schools and other public facilities with no law supporting it.
segregation as a basic practice has existed in housing patterns, schools and other public facilities.
The Supreme Court has tried to deal with segregation.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination in public accommodations illegal.
In 1964, the law was affirmed by the Heart of Atlanta Motel v United States.
A majority of travelers stayed at an Atlanta motel on an interstate highway.
African-Americans were discriminated against by the motel.
It claimed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was unconstitutional.
The legality of the law was upheld by the Court using the interstate commerce provision of the Constitution.
The Twenty-Fourth Amendment made any tax related to the voting process illegal.
The Voting Rights Act was passed in the 1960's.
The right of African-Americans to vote was protected by this law.
The Civil Rights Act of 1968 made it illegal to sell real estate based on race, color, religion, national origin, or other criteria.
Busing was found to be a legal means of achieving the "all deliberate speed" component of the Brown decision.
Civil disobedience, racial riots, and stonewalling attempts on the part of public officials hampered the progress of the civil rights movement even though these actions contributed to the civil rights of African-Americans.
The Supreme Court in California Board of regents v Bakke established two concepts in a split decision.
A majority of the people who voted ruled that the medical school set up a set of racial quotas that violated the equal protection of the law and that they had been the victim of reverse discrimination.
Even though race cannot be the sole basis for determining admission, the Constitution and Civil Rights Act of 1964 can be used as a criterion for affirmative action programs.
President Johnson directed all federal programs to adopt this criterion.
Attempts to achieve gains through affirmative action have characterized the modern civil rights movement for African-Americans.
The issue of affirmative action was brought to the forefront of civil rights.
The Supreme Court and Congress are sensitive to the issue of job discrimination.
Affirmative action has been accepted as a basis of determining whether job discrimination exists in legislation and decisions by the Court.
The public does not like affirmative action as a means of achieving civil rights for minorities.
We will deal with it in relation to other groups later in the chapter.
In 1979 the Court again permitted an affirmative action program favoring African-Americans in private industry if the program corrected past injustices.
Congress passed new civil rights legislation in 1988 that allowed the federal government to take away funds from colleges that discriminate.
The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1991 to make sure that hiring practices are not discrimination.
Congress and President Bush fought over this act.
The hiring provision was added to the bill by Congress, but it placed a responsibility on the employer rather than the worker to determine if a hiring test was unfair.
The significance of this act was that Congress responded to previous Supreme Court decisions that seemed to place the responsibility of anti discrimination suits on the individual.
It showed the heated nature of affirmative action programs.
The nature of affirmative action began to change during the Clinton presidency.
Individual states decided to end it.
The Texas Federal Appeals Court ruled that the Bakke decision did not apply to Texas state colleges.
The California State Board of regents invalidated race as a factor in admissions in 1996.
The California Civil Rights Initiative was approved by voters in 1996.
California was directed not to take race or gender into account in hiring.
The measure was found to be constitutional by a California appeals court.
The case was not heard by the Supreme Court.
The provisions of the referendum were implemented in California.
The top 10 percent of minority students who apply for admission to California's university system will be admitted.
In the spring of 2003 the Supreme Court ruled in two cases that the principles of the Bakke decision were still valid.
Justice O'Connor said in the undergraduate case that the school could not use a point system in which race was used as a basis for admissions because it was too similar to a quota system.
The law school could use a "critical mass" criteria as a basis for admissions.
The cases were significant because they continued the practice of using race as a basis for admissions.
The use of race-based affirmative action programs was rejected by voters in Michigan.
There is still a perception that there are two societies in the United States despite the progress made in the civil rights movement for African-Americans.
The point was established by the Kerner Commission after the 1968 riots.
According to a 1988 Newsweek poll, whites believed that African-Americans were making gains, being helped by the government, and being treated fairly by the criminal justice system.
African-Americans were more positive about race relations after Barack Obama's election, according to a 2010 poll.
The Civil Rights Act of 1991 was inspired by this case.
There are five procedures for evaluating the legitimacy of affirmative action programs.
A scrutiny test is used to evaluate programs.
The Fourteenth Amendment gives Congress more power to enforce equal protection provisions.
Evidence of past discrimination must be used when the state takes action.
Affirmative action remedies have to be specific.
The University of Michigan's admission practice was unconstitutional because it relied too much on a quota system.
The University of Michigan's law school used a broad-based policy of using race as a basis for admissions.
The decisions affirmed the case.
The beginning of the fight for equality is thought to have happened at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.
The fight for political suffragism was led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and she supported a doctrine very similar to the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions for women's rights stated that the history of mankind is a history of injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman.
The Nineteenth Amendment gave woman the right to vote.
The fight to get equality for women has been difficult.
The publication of Betty Friedan's book The Feminine Mystique was a turning point in the fight for equality.
The age of feminism began.
The National Organization for Women and the National Women's Political Caucus were formed.
The Equal Rights Amendment was supported by them.
It attempted to do the same thing as the Fourteenth Amendment did for African-Americans.
It was ironic that one of the arguments against the amendment was that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment already existed.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which required employers to pay men and women the same wages for doing the same jobs, was one of the earliest acts.
The issue of "comparable worth," paying women equally for jobs similar to those held by men, was challenged in a Supreme Court case.
Lilly Ledbetter sued her employer after she discovered that she was paid less than men for the same job.
The Title VII section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that the suit was brought to court after the legal time limit had expired.
The court ruled against Ledbetter, stating that she did not meet the legal deadline of suing within 180 days of the start of the alleged discrimination, even though she claimed to be unaware of the salary differential for many years.
The decision was criticized by labor unions and women, who argued that the result of the case ignored the fact that Ledbetter had been discriminated against.
The Lilly Ledbetter Act allows suits to be filed after the discovery of discrimination regardless of when it happened.
It was signed into law by President Obama after it was vetoed by George W. Bush.
Many acts of Congress and the Supreme Court paved the way for women's rights.
There was an anti-sex discrimination provision in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Education Act of 1972 extended the Title VII provisions.
Title IX made sex discrimination in education programs illegal.
In 1969 a presidential order directed that equal opportunities for women be considered as national policy.
It took a key court case, Reed v Reed, which made a state law that favored men over women in the selection of an estate's executor unconstitutional, to establish a legal precedent.
In Frontiero v Richardson, the Court stated that the nation has had a long and unfortunate history of sex discrimination.
The courts have ruled that certain work-related situations are discrimination.
In 1977 the Court struck down an Alabama law that prevented women from serving as prison guards in all-male prisons.
In 1992, the Court ruled that Johnson Controls could not prevent women from working in a battery factory if the work caused infertility in women.
Sexual harassment in the workplace has been raised since the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The public's awareness of the issue has gone up since the University of Oklahoma law professor raised those charges.
The appointment of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1994 was seen as a sign that discrimination and sexual harassment would not be accepted.
The quest for women's rights included advances in political office.
Governor Grasso's victory in 1974, the appointment of O'Connor as the first woman Supreme Court Justice in 1981 and the nomination of Ferraro as Walter Mondale's running mate in 1984 are just a few examples.
The first African-American Senator, Carol Moseley Braun, was elected to Congress in the 1992 elections.
Hillary Clinton was elected as a senator from New York in the 2000 election.
She is the first former First Lady to be elected to public office.
She ran for president in 2008.
Sarah Palin was the first woman to run for Vice President on a Republican ticket.
Gay rights lag behind other minority groups.
Equal protection for homosexuals has not been guaranteed by gay activists and federal and state legislatures.
In Colorado in 1993, an initiative referendum rejected gay rights proposals, as well as establishing legal obstacles for gays.
The Supreme Court was not sympathetic.
The legality of a Georgia anti-sodomy law was the subject of a 1986 case.
The case was viewed as a test for gay rights because of the two homosexuals who violated the law.
The Georgia state law was upheld by the Supreme Court.
The Court ruled in 2003 that a Texas sodomy law was unconstitutional.
Amendment 2 was adopted by the people of Colorado in 1992.
There was a provision that the state could not give protected status to homosexuals.
The Supreme Court heard a case about the referendum.
The decision was a victory for gay rights supporters.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America could deny membership to a gay leader.
Jim Dale, a homosexual Scout leader in New Jersey, was barred from his position by the Boy Scouts.
The Scouts claimed that they had the right to exclude certain people from membership in their organization.
The Boy Scouts' meetings took place in a public school in New Jersey.
The court ruled in favor of the Boy Scouts.
Many schools refused to allow the Boy Scouts to meet if homosexuals were barred from participation, as a result of the decision.
Clinton directed the military to follow a "Don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue" policy.
It allowed homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they did not reveal that they were gay.
The military establishment had a hard time accepting the policy, which was criticized by many in Congress.
The court declared part of the policy unconstitutional because of the First Amendment free speech provision and the Fifth Amendment due process provision.
George W. Bush did not change the uneasily-balanced policy.
President Barack Obama supported the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell when he was elected.
The United States was involved in two wars, one in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan, which made the military leadership hesitant to advocate a change.
From 2008 to 2010 gay groups and gay servicemen and women who were discharged filed petitions to find the law unconstitutional.
The military was ordered to stop the policy by the federal appeal courts.
The repeal was put on hold by the courts after the Obama administration convinced them to do so.
President Obama urged Congress to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy after the Defense Department conducted a review.
President Obama signed the repeal into law in 2010. homosexuals were allowed to serve in the military without fear of dismissal after the military stopped removing gay soldiers.
Gay activist groups have been outspoken in their quest for equal protection under the law.
They have made inroads on college campuses by marching alongside mainstream groups in parades.
In the spring of 2004, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that gay marriages were legal.
The drafting of an amendment to the United States Constitution that would define marriage as the union of a man and woman was the result of a backlash from opponents of the decision.
Even though Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, a law that allowed states not to recognize gay marriages from other states and made illegal any federal benefits to states that did allow gay marriages, proponents of the amendment and President George W. Bush felt that its passage would be.
The amendment never came to a vote because of a Democratic filibuster.