Introduction 13 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Civil Rights Stories
- This is a big book. In it, we have taken a broad approach to the idea of “civil rights” in the law. So broad, in fact that the question arises: what makes a case a “civil rights” case? Or, elementally, what are civil rights? Some of the stories describe cases that most Americans would think of as classic civil rights cases—cases concerning the rights of racial minorities, women, the poor, and people with disabilities to the equal protection of the laws. Other stories explore issues that go beyond the archetypal, focusing on cases that raise issues of privacy and bodily integrity. Indeed, the fact that “civil rights” can and does encompass so much makes this legal category all the more contested. We have accordingly included, perhaps most provocatively, cases where both parties to a conflict view themselves as heirs to the civil rights mantle.
- The relationships between lawyers and clients in these stories is not always so straightforward, however. Many of the cases cannot be traced to a single lawyer, organization, or client. The stories in this volume reveal the broad and complicated coalitions behind many of these cases. details the efforts of an alliance made up of labor, civil, and women’s rights groups working on multiple fronts to achieve greater workplace equality and safety. Serena Mayeri’s story of similarly describes the creation of the Pro–Choice Network—a partnership of medical providers and lawyers from NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the ACLU, and other groups. William Eskridge’s story on provides insight into the strategies of the ACLU and Lambda, working together to defeat sodomy laws. Because of the diversity of views, interests, and goals at stake in much civil rights litigation, however, the stories reflect conflict within litigation strategies and within social movements as often as they...
- Taken together, the stories in this volume tend to undercut the dominant myths surrounding civil rights law. In these stories, we see that the relationship between legal pronouncements and social and political realities—between winning or losing a case and creating social change—is rarely direct. Indeed, many of the great civil rights “victories” may contain less than meets the eye. Risa Goluboff, for example, tacks sharply from the traditional civil rights narrative and retells
- The stories also shine a light on the often intrepid lawyers who took on these cases. For law students in particular, the lawyers’ stories highlight the dedication and imagination required to use the law as a tool for social change. Some of these lawyers are charter members of the civil rights pantheon—Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston, Charles Morgan, Jr. But most are not well known. Arthur Gochman, a local San Antonio lawyer, took the case of Hispanic parents challenging the Texas school financing system in without any prior experience in civil rights litigation. Perhaps less paradigmatic were litigation efforts by public agencies, such as the lawyers in the Departments of Education and Justice who brought a case against the Virginia Military Institute to force the school to admit women, as described in Cornelia Pillard’s story of
- Open Chapter
Chapter 2: Brown v. Board of Education and the Lost Promise of Civil Rights 41 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In order to appreciate the magnitude of this transformation, it is necessary to step back and attempt to see the world of civil rights from the perspective of the pre- and its aftermath, legal scholars and historians have often charted a path of civil rights that led directly to , in which the form of civil rights embraced and projected was natural and inevitable. The usual story about has thus frequently assumed that civil rights always took as its centerpiece a challenge to the psychological injuries caused by legally segregated education—so-called stigmatic harms—under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
- As legal scholars increasingly converged on a general framework for making sense of the constitutional law of civil rights, then, that framework was predominantly the one This is apparent in changes to succeeding editions of civil rights and constitutional law casebooks and treatises. Before and just after , treatises and casebooks reflected considerable variety in both the subjects they included within the field of civil rights and the way they analyzed those subjects. Legal scholars treated “civil rights” as encompassing issues like involuntary servitude and labor rights as much as racial segregation; they saw rights as falling into categories like “the security of the person” as much as “discrimination”; and they described the vindication of civil rights as an affirmative responsibility of government as much as the responsibility of private litigants. By the 1960s, treatise and casebook authors eliminated sections on the security of the person; they condensed or eliminated...
- In reality, two of the most significant legal actors in the civil rights arena pursued cases that reflected considerable heterogeneity in the goals of civil rights, the role of the government in redressing civil rights violations, and the constitutional bases for bringing challenges to Jim Crow. The lawyers in the Civil Rights Section (CRS) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the NAACP viewed themselves as essentially and fundamentally constructing a new legal and constitutional framework for American civil rights in the 1940s. Despite that shared mission, the lawyers’ disparate strategies, and the implications of those strategies for the civil rights that eventually emerged, suggest an implicit confrontation between (at least) two contending views. When the CRS lawyers used the Thirteenth Amendment and advocated on behalf of African American agricultural and domestic workers, and the NAACP pursued the cases of black industrial workers under both the equal protection clause and...
- became the iconic civil rights case of the modern era. As legal scholars spent considerable effort analyzing, justifying, and systematizing the Court’s decision, the image of Jim Crow it projected and the legal doctrine it embraced captured the collective legal imagination. Over the decade that followed , subsequent cases, the rise of the civil rights movement, and legislative developments all contributed to this transformation of constitutional civil rights. To some extent, these developments civil rights. The pivotal civil rights protest of 1963 was called a March for Jobs and Freedom. The Johnson administration’s War on Poverty tried to attack economic deprivation in part out of a recognition of the continuing connection between racial and economic inequality. And Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (and later amendments) legislatively prohibited discrimination in the private labor market and labor unions as well as among state actors themselves.
- Black activists protested most vociferously about—and saw the most success with—civil rights issues that combined claims to racial equality with still-robust claims of New Deal labor and economic rights. In particular, the attempts of black workers to build on the labor and economic rights of the New Deal represented the most politically promising civil rights issues of the 1940s. Even as the Cold War chilled in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the economic claims of African Americans remained a key civil rights issue in national politics.
- Open Chapter
- Workers filed complaints with their union, the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW), and the union went public with the story of the sterilization in late 1978. “No More Willow Islands” became a “rallying cry” of unions and interest groups. Soon, more than 44 feminist, labor, civil rights, and civil liberties organizations joined together to form The Coalition for Reproductive Rights of Workers (CRROW), whose statement of purpose read:
- With the passage of new civil rights laws in the 1960s, however, industries and unions faced legal challenges to the exclusion of women from these jobs. The civil rights and women’s rights movements gave rise to landmark civil rights legislation, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the creation of administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The law now required employers and unions to admit women to employment unless their exclusion could be justified.
- Fetal protection policies, initiated around the same time that protectionist legislation was being dismantled nationwide, effectively re-segregated (by gender) many of the forty-plus industrial workplaces nation-wide in which employees were exposed to lead. By the time the PDA was enacted in 1978, fetal protection policies marked a growing trend amongst industry leaders, one that commentators thought signaled “the emergence of a major new civil rights and civil liberties issue that poses medical, legal, economic, and moral dilemmas.” The issue involved not only women’s rights in the workplace, but also “the more portentous question” of the reproductive harms caused to both men and women by exposure to toxic substances at work.
- . Despite this outpouring of scholarship, the academic literature has paid little attention to the unique nationwide coalition of labor, workplace health and safety advocates, and women’s rights lawyers that formed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to collectively oppose fetal protection policies. How this group came together, and ultimately dissolved, is its own significant story that speaks volumes about legal mobilization and the sustainability of reform efforts.
- and, alongside labor and civil rights groups and churches, soon formed the 300–plus member Campaign to End Discrimination against Pregnant Workers (CEDAPW) with the express goal of legislatively overruling
- Open Chapter
Civil Rights Stories 5 results
- CIVIL RIGHTS STORIES
- Chapter 6: Civil Rights in Private Schools: The Surprising Story of Runyon v. McCrary
- Chapter 13: Civil Rights on Both Sides: Reproductive Rights and Free Speech in Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York
- Chapter 2: Brown v. Board of Education and the Lost Promise of Civil Rights
- Chapter 7: The Story of City of Los Angeles v. Lyons: Closing the Federal Courthouse Doors
- Open Chapter
Chapter 14: US Airways v. Barnett and the Limits of Disability Accommodation 35 results (showing 5 best matches)
- I use the male pronoun because women generally were not regarded as authentic workers by poor relief systems at this time. But that’s a civil rights story for another day.
- At roughly the same time, activists in California and New York were coming together in the first significant disability protest groups since the 1930s. In many cases, those modern activists were inspired by the examples of the antiwar and black civil rights movements of the 1960s and the feminist movement of the 1970s. Veterans returning from Vietnam with disabilities added to and further radicalized the movement’s ranks. Like the earlier disability activists, participants in the disability rights movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s developed a critique of welfare and charity as paternalistic responses that limited the citizenship of people with disabilities. They argued for civil rights and “independent living,” not charity, welfare, and institutionalization.
- The statute was the result of an extensive and savvy lobbying campaign by a still relatively new social movement—the disability rights movement. Beginning in earnest in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the disability rights movement turned, much more quickly than had the black civil rights movement before it, “from protest to politics.”
- As the 1960s came to a close, Professor tenBroek’s “right to live in the world” began to creep into the law. In 1968, a senator with a disabled staffer secured the passage of the Architectural Barriers Act. That law required federal government buildings to become more accessible to people with disabilities. In 1973, a group of Senate staffers working on civil rights issues inserted a provision into the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act; the new provision, section 504, prohibited disability-based discrimination by recipients of federal funds. The Architectural Barriers Act was the first rights-oriented federal disability law, and section 504 would become an extremely important vehicle for asserting disability rights.
- Bush and Gray ultimately became strong supporters of disability rights (and when Bush became president, he appointed Evan Kemp as chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). And their successful efforts to win over Bush and Gray gave activists a new strategy that they would put to good use in their efforts to enact comprehensive disability rights legislation: In addition to being the heir to earlier civil rights laws, a disability rights law would serve as a tool of welfare reform. It would get people with disabilities off of the welfare rolls and into the workforce.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 6: Civil Rights in Private Schools: The Surprising Story of Runyon v. McCrary 25 results (showing 5 best matches)
- the statute that formed the basis for this case. Its roots extend all the way back to Reconstruction and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the very first piece of civil rights legislation. And the implications of reach forward to the most recent civil rights act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Yet for all its distinguished lineage and its doctrinal consequences, reflects in microcosm the central paradox of civil rights law: having achieved formal equality of opportunity, how to get beyond it to actual equality of resources and results.
- The history of section 1981 follows the vicissitudes in our nation’s changing commitment to civil rights. The statute was originally enacted to assure full legal capacity to the former slaves. Enacted under Congress’s power to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 guaranteed “all persons born in the United States … the same right … to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property, and to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens….” The act’s immediate aim was to invalidate the “Black Codes,” enacted or under consideration in several southern states, to deny rights of full legal capacity to the newly freed slaves, who had been emancipated by the Thirteenth Amendment itself. The act granted equal citizenship in the realm of “civil rights,” narrowly understood to comprise the rights...
- , more than the sources for the Court’s decision in the legislative record, was the statutory context in which the 1866 Act was now situated. In the nineteenth century, the act was the first piece of civil rights legislation passed by Congress, followed by others that, at most, obliquely regulated private conduct, or in the case of the Civil Rights Act of 1875, By the middle of the twentieth century, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was both much more acceptable and much less radical. The decision itself, on private discrimination in real estate sales, added only modestly to the prohibitions and remedies in fair housing legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1968,
- , but even so, this case was soon superseded by the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which amended section 1981 to make clear that it covered all aspects of contractual relations and applied to all contracts. . With this most recent piece of civil rights legislation Congress closed the circle by confirming a broad interpretation of its very first civil rights act. Whether the same progressive consequences could be translated from the realm of legal doctrine to social reality constitutes a different question, taken up in the next part of this chapter.
- which declared segregation in private schools to be illegal. It subordinated private choice to civil rights policy and extended federal law beyond the limitations of the state action doctrine. Yet few major civil rights decisions have been more anticlimactic. Where demonstrations and massive resistance greeted matter of statutory interpretation into a symbol of national progress on civil rights.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 1: Shelley v. Kraemer: Racial Liberalism and the U.S. Supreme Court 29 results (showing 5 best matches)
- While the legal cases were winding through the courts and civil rights organizations were promoting public awareness, the attack on covenants received a major boost from President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights. Organized in 1946 in response to a wave of violence against African Americans, the group, led by the nation’s business and civic leaders, held a series of hearings across the country to study American race relations. In 1947, the group released its report. Entitled “To Secure These Rights,” it was the strongest denunciation of discrimination and prejudice in America ever sponsored by a government agency. African Americans, the report argued, had been systematically denied the four rights to which every American was entitled; safety and security, full citizenship, freedom of conscience and equality of opportunity. Because states and local government had failed to protect these rights, the report asserted, it was the federal government’s responsibility to do so. The...
- The increase in national attention to civil rights issues brought about by the Truman Civil Rights Committee resulted in unprecedented support for the attack on restrictive covenants. More than twenty organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Jewish Committee, the CIO and the National Bar Association, filed amicus briefs during the fall of 1947 asking the court to repudiate the enforcement of restrictive covenants. As further (albeit limited) evidence of the changing tone of the nation’s racial debate, these groups were joined by the federal government. Just weeks after the President’s Civil Rights Committee released its report, the Justice Department agreed to file a brief supporting the petitioners. In it, Solicitor General Philip Perlman argued that restrictive covenants “cannot be reconciled with the spirit of mutual tolerance and respect for the dignity and rights of the individual which give vitality to our democratic way of life.”
- While Weaver and others worked to improve the quality of social science research on racial matters, they assisted the legal attacks on racial discrimination. Unlike other civil rights initiatives that were directed from the New York offices of the NAACP, the attack on restrictive covenants began at the local level. The availability of middle class clients with the means to hire a private lawyer distinguished the fight against covenants from many other aspects of civil rights litigation. By 1945, however, there were so many lawsuits attacking covenants across the country that Thurgood Marshall and his associates at the national NAACP office decided to take a larger role in shaping the strategy. Marshall’s involvement raised concerns from several attorneys who worried that the national office would sacrifice their individual clients in pursuit of broader goals. However, in general, the civil rights attorneys worked together, sharing information and coordinating litigation strategies....
- Civil Rights Cases
- , was a critical part of the legal attack on segregation in America. Although the decision itself had only marginal impact on residential segregation in this country, the case and its companions brought together public interest lawyers from around the country, fostered a complex and deep collaboration with social scientists and contributed to the rapid expansion of capacity in civil rights advocacy groups at the national and local levels. The legal struggle, which provided a model for the attack on school segregation, represents a seminal moment in the history of civil rights law. By expanding the definition of “state action,” the decision represented a (limited) reenvisioning of the government’s role in structuring the country’s race relations.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 3: Police, Race and Crime in 1950s Chicago: Monroe v. Pape as Legal Noir 21 results (showing 5 best matches)
- And the story behind is very much a period piece; the product of a very specific moment in American history. Mid–1950s marches on Little Rock, Montgomery and Selma trained the attention of the world on Jim Crow laws and the quest for basic equality. But as the decade drew to an end, sophisticated civil rights advocates and lawyers shifted their focus to America’s northern cities and the discriminatory treatment of blacks at the hands of urban police. It was becoming clear to many Americans that the Frank Papes of the world were not
- could lead to federal civil liability. Of course, that is the entire reason why is a seminal case in civil rights courses.
- A hard-boiled hero cop runs headlong into the wall dividing the post-Reconstruction century from the Warren Court; the Great Migration from the Civil Rights Movement. At the dawn of the 1960s, Chief of Detectives Frank Pape—famously known to Chicago beat writers as the “Toughest Cop In America”—goes from protector against civil unrest to violator of civil rights.
- James Monroe and his lawyers described the incident quite differently in their civil rights complaint, filed six months later:
- proven responsive to the threat of civil rights liability. In particular, I think, the everyday brand of abuse has abated in significant measure: the heavy-handed policing of old-school cops giving vent to old-school prejudices, secure in the knowledge that the victim is certain to take his beat-down and remain silent, as he has nothing to gain by coming forward. It is difficult to imagine being Frank Pape—policing like Frank Pape—in a world where multi-million dollar civil rights settlements have as much mythological pull as hardboiled Chicago lawmen once did.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 9: DeShaney v. Winnebago County: Governmental Neglect and “The Blessings of Liberty” 20 results (showing 5 best matches)
- When Joshua’s mother, Melody DeShaney, sued the Winnebago County DSS in order to seek compensatory damages on behalf of her son, she, like thousands of other plaintiffs do every year, relied on 42 U.S.C. § 1983—the primary statutory vehicle individuals use to vindicate their constitutional rights against state and local government officials and municipalities. For civil rights advocates, constitutional tort litigation is an indispensable tool of civil rights enforcement in the modern administrative, welfare state. coincided with the growth of civil rights litigation, it is not surprising that, throughout the 1980s, an increasingly large category of § 1983 cases targeted governmental efforts to protect abused and neglected children.
- When such horrific cases of abuse become front-page news stories, the resulting public outrage typically produces a flurry of reform proposals to improve the child welfare system. These efforts have produced mixed results. Both the causes of these agencies’ failures and the reforms required to improve the child welfare system are extraordinarily complex subjects, and they remain today the focus of intense debates among children’s rights advocates and public policy experts.
- II. Civil Rights Litigation and “Constitutional Torts”
- has imposed enormous burdens on civil rights plaintiffs attempting to hold the government liable for its failures to protect. Given these broad-ranging effects, no analysis of by eliminating its exposure to liability in almost all cases involving failures to protect. Civil rights plaintiffs like Joshua, meanwhile, are left without any means of obtaining full compensation for their injuries.
- For examples of empirical work examining the deterrent effect of civil rights litigation under § 1983, Charles Epp, Do Rights Matter? Exploring The Impact of Legal Liability on Administrative Policies, Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (2001); Margo Schlanger,
- Open Chapter
Contributors 11 results (showing 5 best matches)
- is a Professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she teaches courses on civil rights law, equality, and national security & civil liberties. Professor Gilles has written extensively on police misconduct litigation, structural reform injunctions, and the deterrent effect of civil rights damage awards on governmental actors. Professor Gilles earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard College and her law degree at Yale.
- is Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at the Washington University School of Law in Saint Louis, Missouri, where. He teaches constitutional law, civil rights litigation, and labor and employment law courses, and he writes on civil rights, antidiscrimination and social welfare law, with a particular focus on disability law. Among his notable publications on these topics are
- is an assistant professor of law at American University’s Washington College of Law, where she teaches and specializes in constitutional law and theory, civil rights litigation, and jurisprudence. Professor Dodd graduated from Yale Law School and earned her PhD in Politics from Princeton University. She is currently working on a , which examines the history of Section 1983, from its origins in the Civil Rights Act of 1871 to the contemporary era, with a special focus on the political debates regarding civil rights enforcement strategies.
- is the John Barbee Minor Distinguished Professor of Law and the Edward F. Howrey Research Professor at the University of Virginia. He has written numerous articles on civil rights and employment discrimination. He has also co-authored Employment Discrimination: Law and Theory (2005), and Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution (2d ed. 2007). Most recently, he has published Employment Discrimination: Visions of Equality in Theory and Doctrine (2d ed. 2007). He has also written widely on admiralty and civil procedure, serving on the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where he received both is A.B. and J.D. degrees, and before coming to the University of Virginia, he served as a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Justices William O. Douglas and John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court.
- is Professor of Law, Professor of History, and F. Palmer Weber Research Professor in Civil Liberties and Human Rights at the University of Virginia. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Duke University and a law degree from Yale University, where she was a senior editor of the She teaches courses on American social and legal history, constitutional law, public interest law, and education law. Brown–Nagin has written widely on civil rights history and law. She has published articles about the NAACP’s legal campaign against Jim Crow and contemporary campaigns for racial equality in law and history journals, including the
- Open Chapter
Chapter 11: Missouri v. Jenkins: Why District Courts and Local Politics Matter 18 results (showing 5 best matches)
- goes on, it reminds us that as important as Supreme Court decisions are to the enforcement of constitutional rights, majoritarian politics, occurring in local contexts, play an enormous role in civil rights litigation. Surely the Court’s opinion in only tell part of the story. The steadfast opposition of John Ashcroft and Missouri officials of both political parties to the
- “devastated” Arthur Benson and many other members of the civil rights bar. William Taylor, an expert school desegregation litigator, referred to the Court’s decision to strike down the quality education programs as relying on the “It’s a Wonderful Life test.” “You’d need a guardian angel to come down to tell what the world would have looked like were it not for segregation,” he complained. Many news and law review commentators counted a grave setback for civil rights. One asked whether the decision constituted the second “Missouri Compromise,” referring to the deal that allowed Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state. By contrast, conservatives cheered the decision. Joan Biskupic, writing for the
- Though pilloried by civil rights activists, Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion in
- To many civil rights advocates,
- years, was the single most important personnel change during this period. Marshall’s retirement, and Thomas’s elevation to the Court, marked the end of an era of liberal domination of the national conversation about race. Thomas, a vocal critic of traditional civil rights remedies, was appointed over the objection of the NAACP. His ascension to the Court gave national prominence to black conservative thought for the first time since the turn of the twentieth century, when Tuskegee University President Booker T. Washington had President Theodore Roosevelt’s ear. Thomas provided the fifth vote against the KCMSD desegregation plan in
- Open Chapter
Chapter 4: Hadnott v. Amos: Unleashing the Second Reconstruction 29 results (showing 5 best matches)
- As for Herndon, Justices Douglas and Harlan believed there was “probable cause to conclude that Judge Herndon knowingly and purposefully evaded our order.” With such evidence, they would have tried him before the Supreme Court itself. Instead, a majority of their colleagues left it to the District Court to initiate such proceedings. Throughout the civil rights movement, no public official, much less a judge, had been held in contempt of a federal court’s desegregation order. By early 1971, Herndon’s brand of southern defiance of the imperatives of civil rights would be met with a conviction for civil and criminal contempt. With the Greene County special election scheduled for Tuesday, July 29, the six NDPA candidates returned to campaigning and Dad called in as many favors he could of his friends in civil rights and political circles. As usual, he dug into his own pocket to help finance the campaign, and called on others for donations. Once again civil rights veterans like Ralph...
- As the author of this “civil rights” story, I must disclose that I am not unbiased in its telling. My father, Dr. John L. Cashin, Jr., was the founder of NDPA. I grew up licking NDPA envelopes, attending NDPA meetings, and watching my parents’ activism in the social and political movements that dominated the South in the 1960s and ’70s. A measure of the political transformation that occurred in Alabama, in no small part as a result of NDPA, is that by the time I entered a voting booth for the first time in March, 1980, as an eighteen year old, I voted for Jimmy Carter in that Democratic presidential primary and for myself as a convention delegate pledged to Carter. By then the Alabama Democratic Party was actively recruiting women and minorities to serve as delegates and to play a leadership role in the party. When they approached my father to run for delegate he demurred, instead suggesting that his daughter, the next generation, take up the mantle. I garnered enough votes to...
- NDPA launched into action. With its shoestring budget, the party relied heavily on the altruism of well-known civil rights figures and the indigenous leadership of Black Belt counties. Sample ballots with the slogan “Mark your X under the Eagle” were passed out at mass meetings in the black churches that had provided the base of grass roots mobilization throughout the civil rights movement. On the airways of
- At the county level, many of NDPA’s leaders were veterans of the civil rights movement. Most notably, E.D. Nixon, widely recognized as the man who launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott and a former head of the Montgomery County chapters of the NAACP and the Pullman Porters union, was an influential force for the Montgomery County NDPA chapter.
- Orzell Billingsley was a close family friend and an unsung civil rights lawyer-hero in Alabama. Among his many acts of altruism, he provided counsel to Dr. Martin Luther King during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, helped incorporate over twenty majority black local governments in Alabama, and successfully challenged all-white juries in the case of
- Open Chapter
Chapter 13: Civil Rights on Both Sides: Reproductive Rights and Free Speech in Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York 38 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Indeed, the next issue facing Judge Arcara was the validity of the plaintiffs’ section 1985(3) claim, the only federal cause of action in the complaint. The key question—yet to be resolved by the Supreme Court—was whether women seeking an abortion constituted a protected class under the civil rights statute. Drawing an analogy to , where the defendants’ assault upon black civil rights workers on an interstate highway was ruled a conspiracy to deprive them of their right to travel, Arcara found that the defendants were indeed engaged in a conspiracy to infringe upon women’s right to travel and upon their right to choose abortion. Arcara concluded that the plaintiffs had satisfied the Fourteenth Amendment’s state action requirement, finding that “defendants have acted to render local law enforcement officials incapable of keeping the clinics readily accessible to women who choose to have an abortion.”
- case presented a question of basic civil rights, as advocates for and against reproductive choice struggled to define themselves as the natural heirs to the civil rights movement. For abortion rights proponents, the initial challenge was to frame women seeking reproductive health services as citizens attempting to exercise legitimate constitutional rights in the face of violence, intimidation, and obstruction, and to depict anti-abortion demonstrators as a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan. Bringing suit under section 1985(3), the civil rights statute aimed at racial violence and intimidation, virtually required the Pro–Choice Network and other reproductive rights organizations to draw this analogy explicitly or implicitly. The rhetorical problem they faced was that while white supremacists acted out of hatred for African Americans and other nonwhites, pro-life demonstrators—many of whom were themselves women—were motivated by what they felt to be love and concern for women...
- During the civil rights movement, segregationists congregated in front of schools and polling places with attack dogs and clubs in order to intimidate blacks into foregoing their constitutional rights to an integrated education and to vote. Here defendants are attempting to prevent women from exercising their constitutional right to choose to have an abortion…. [I]nstead of using dogs and clubs, defendants use cameras and the threat of exposure to scare and intimidate women into foregoing their constitutional rights.
- Beginning in the mid–1980s, abortion clinics became the site of picketing and protest. Abortion clinic protest tested the limits of the First Amendment in a society torn between its commitment to protect the constitutional rights of women seeking reproductive health services, and its dedication to freedom of speech and assembly. also provides a classic example of a case in which both parties saw themselves as defending civil rights against attacks potentially fatal—both literally and figuratively—to their respective causes. Both prochoice and pro-life advocates proclaim themselves heirs to the legacy of the civil rights movement, with its courageous stance against injustice and for basic human rights amid a climate of violence and fear.
- cause as analogous to the civil rights struggle, they invoked and used tactics of civil disobedience pioneered in the United States by Martin Luther King, Jr., and even sang civil-rights era spirituals retooled with pro-life lyrics.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 7: The Story of City of Los Angeles v. Lyons: Closing the Federal Courthouse Doors 14 results (showing 5 best matches)
- As a civil rights lawyer, I have been involved in countless discussions about possible litigation to stop illegal police and other government behavior that did not lead to lawsuits because of the inability to overcome the standing hurdle imposed by It is a case that has closed the courthouse doors to many civil rights litigants seeking to halt unconstitutional government actions.
- must be seen as one of many cases during this time in which the Supreme Court limited standing to sue in civil rights cases.
- Few cases have had a more devastating effect on civil rights litigation than the Supreme Court’s decision in
- The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed. The opinion was written by Judge Elbert Tuttle, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, sitting by designation. Judge Tuttle, then a senior judge, was a liberal Republican from Georgia. Judge Tuttle had been chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit during the 1950s and 1960s, when that court became known for a series of decisions crucial in advancing the civil rights of African–Americans.
- relief. By contrast, a government policy or practice that will harm people in the future, but with no way of knowing who will be hurt, cannot be stopped by the courts even in a suit brought by a person who has suffered from it in the past. The victim still may sue for damages, but there are many other obstacles to recovery of monetary relief in civil rights cases, including the inability to hold a city liable on a respondeat superior basis, and the small amount of damages available for violations of many constitutional rights.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 15: The Constitution and the Klan: Understanding the Burning Cross in Virginia v. Barry Black 15 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Supreme Court granted review. Smolla was not surprised. “We’ve always struggled and had a real hard time with what you do when the threat’s done by abortion protestors, what you do when the threat’s done by a civil rights group, what you do when the threat’s done by the Ku Klux Klan. Are you really talking about blowing up an abortion clinic, or killing a civil rights activist?”
- Both sides felt that they had won. For Black, having his conviction reversed by the Supreme Court was validation of what he had long believed were his rights and the rights of the Klan: “[W]e proved that the law does work yet. That victory went worldwide. I can light a cross anywhere in the United States of America that I want to light it as long as I’m not doing it to intimidate anybody. How they perceive it is how they perceive it.” Since the decision, Black has been back to Virginia for another rally that included a cross lighting. He remains defiant and angry at all those involved in the Carroll County incident. He has been talking with lawyers about filing a civil rights case against Sheriff Manning and Deputy Clark for violating his civil rights. Black is optimistic that the Klan will soon undergo a resurrection and he intends to be an active part of its rebirth.
- Growing criticism of the Klan’s role in supporting violence eventually diminished its public role and it reverted to a more clandestine organization. Throughout the civil rights era in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, Klan violence served as a constant threat to those working towards assuring equal rights to African–Americans. The federal government began to work hard to prosecute Klansmen who committed crimes. As the fabric of segregation unraveled, the Klan’s power waned. But it never completely vanished; individuals and small groups would emerge that claimed title to the Klan’s heritage and traditions.
- The story of
- The arrest was big news in Carroll County. The local newspaper—the Carroll News—covered the story extensively. Carol Lee Lindsey, the head editor, wrote an editorial expressing outrage at having the Klan meeting in Carroll County. “I had kind of a knee jerk reaction, and my knee jerk reaction was, ‘I don’t want Carroll County known for something like this. Because I know Carroll County to be a friendly place with caring people.” The editorial sounded a theme that would become a common refrain among community members: this was something that was done by outsiders. There was strong sentiment in favor of prosecuting Black for the cross-burning.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 5: San Antonio v. Rodriguez and the Legal Geography of School Finance Reform 24 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The legal theory of the case was grounded in the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which prevents a state from “deny[ing] to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” That clause was the obvious place to start for civil rights lawyers beginning to challenge state school finance systems in the late 1960s. For the fifteen years following , decided in 1954, civil rights lawyers had focused on desegregating (mostly southern) schools. But desegregation had moved slowly, especially in the south, and even where integration was successful, the poor—whether black or white—continued to attend poor schools. The NAACP’s theory that resources would follow integration—that “green would follow white”—was a disappointment. Moreover, integration—which had never been popular—was losing the little momentum it had. Whites resisted forced remedies like busing while blacks wanted more control over their own schools.
- sounded the death knell for the pursuit of education finance reform mandated by the federal Constitution. The cases also encouraged civil rights lawyers, who had already begun to pursue cases in the state courts before , to direct their attention fully to the states. Twenty-six state supreme courts would eventually side with the civil rights lawyers.
- as a dramatic step backwards. The Court had held that the Equal Protection Clause was not an independent guarantee of basic, non-specified constitutional rights. The Warren Court’s line of fundamental rights/equal protection cases, which had implied that equal treatment might require the government to affirmatively provide certain social goods to everyone on an equal basis, had been truncated. Moreover, the opinion was authored by Lewis Powell, a white southerner who had been on the wrong side of the most important civil rights struggle of the century. Justice Thurgood Marshall—the architect of
- join his father’s business in 1973 and turn the company into one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the south. In 1968, however, he was practicing law with a small firm in San Antonio that was well-known for its civil rights work.
- San Antonio is not exceptional. Across metropolitan areas, schools are highly segregated, and performance differences between inner-city schools and suburban schools are striking. In light of this metropolitan reality, civil rights lawyers, scholars, and courts have directed their attention away from seeking equal funding toward seeking adequate funding. They argue that state constitutional provisions that require public education explicitly or implicitly impose a minimum standard of quality that school districts with little taxable property or a high percentage of at-risk students cannot meet. And some scholars and
- Open Chapter
Chapter 8: The Crime Against Nature on Trial, Bowers v. Hardwick, 1986 44 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) (ruling that the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law violated the right to privacy, and overruling Bowers v. Hardwick, but recognizing the equal protection features of the law’s operation). On the civil discriminations against admitted homosexuals or convicted sodomites, see Nan D. Hunter et al., The Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men: The Basic ACLU Guide to a Gay Person’s Rights (3d ed. 1992); Rhonda R. Rivera, supra note 50. On the eerie parallel structure of America’s anti-homosexual legal regime and that of Nazi Germany, see E
- In 1868, there was no social group of “homosexuals” (the term did not even exist). By 1986, homosexuals were a coherent social group in large part because governments had declared their characteristic conduct to be the crime against nature and, based upon that conduct, imposed an array of civil penalties. In Georgia and other states of the South, the open homosexual as a presumptive felon could be excluded from participation in an array of social, economic, and political rights, including: voting and jury service (if convicted of sodomy or even solicitation); military service; opportunities to be municipal police officers, firefighters, or other civil servants; professional licenses; housing (under leases stipulating termination for felonious behavior); public accommodations; civil marriage to one’s true love; judicial enforcement of contractual promises or testamentary bequests to a committed lesbian or gay partner; adoption; and raising one’s own biological children, where a...
- The two Michaels had much in common: Bowers and Hardwick were both handsome blue-eyed young men of the New South, well-mannered, family-oriented sons of the civil rights and sexual revolutions. But it was the one way in which they were dissimilar—sexual orientation—that would bring Bowers and Hardwick together as adversaries in one of the most socially significant legal dramas of the last century.
- public discrimination and, for many, bitter private hatred. Homosexuals became the “new niggers,” as civil rights activist Bayard Rustin put it.
- Progressive constitutional scholars, many of whom had been involved in the civil rights and women’s rights movements, were predictably critical of the Supreme Court’s decision—but so were some of the nation’s most eminent conservatives, including Judge Richard Posner, a Chicago School law and economics scholar, and George H.W. Bush Administration Solicitor General Charles Fried. Posner and Fried believed that if you take the Court’s privacy precedents seriously, there has to be some protection for gays as well as straights, at least within their own homes. As Blackmun had argued, it was a retreat from privacy’s libertarian bearings for the Court to have cabined the privacy right to decisions relating only to family, procreation, and child-rearing. As Stevens had argued, it was a violation of equal protection for the Court to allow Georgia to focus only on homosexual sodomy, while assuring all its other citizens that the law did not apply to their conduct. Almost all law professors...
- Open Chapter
Chapter 12: United States v. Virginia: The Virginia Military Institute, Where the Men are Men and So are the Women 15 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The curious thing about the constitutional challenge to the exclusion of women from the Virginia Military Institute is that it ever became a major civil rights case in the first place. VMI is, after all, a tiny, rather eccentric and anachronistic military college in Virginia. Most Americans who were even aware of the Institute’s existence before the litigation responded, at least in part, with a kind of shoulder-shrugging puzzlement about why anyone—male or female—would ever want to go to a college like VMI. The chance to become one of approximately 1300 cadets, marching around a toy-castle campus in uniforms, crew cuts, and silly hats, living in Spartan, grey barracks devoid of privacy, spending most of freshman year as a “rat” (the “lowest form of life”) at upperclassmen’s beck and call, being shouted at, insulted, ordered to drop for push ups at the slightest infraction, and subjected to frat-boy-style antics at all hours hardly seems like the kind of opportunity from which...
- VMI had no analogue to Shannon Richey Faulkner, the female student who captured the public imagination after she was mistakenly admitted to The Citadel (where they thought “Shannon,” on paper, was a boy), and sued for the right to attend. VMI instead was sued by the federal government under a statute that authorized the Department of Justice to litigate based on an anonymous complaint from an excluded young woman. case; Faulkner forced open the Citadel’s doors only to exit in emotional and physical exhaustion a week into her first semester.) The lack of an individual plaintiff probably also made it easier for VMI to cast itself as the beleaguered victim of over-zealous federal civil rights enforcement. The male cadets were captured in the media, ringing old states-rights themes still so resonant in the South; no female plaintiff shouted back.
- Not satisfied with the dual-school solution, VMI pursued its challenge to liability all the way to the Supreme Court while awkwardly professing a genuine interest in women’s education at VWIL. The United States, meanwhile, assailed the VWIL remedy as a new equal protection violation in itself. With a new administration in office, President’s Clinton’s Supreme Court litigator, Solicitor General Drew S. Days, III, took over from the Civil Rights Division’s appellate staff. VMI hired as Supreme Court counsel conservative heavy-hitter Theodore B. Olson, who would later successfully argue for George W. Bush in
- Finally, the story of the Marshall’s efforts on behalf of the rights of African Americans. If there was one issue that shaped Ginsburg’s career as a lawyer, it was her drive to establish that sex is a suspect classification entitled to strict constitutional scrutiny. Many view her opinion in
- , VMI would not budge, Judith Keith, a career trial lawyer in the Education Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), read about it in the
- Open Chapter
- Publication Date: November 15th, 2007
- ISBN: 9781599410814
- Subject: Civil Rights
- Series: Law Stories
- Type: Overviews
- Description: This book provides students with a three-dimensional picture of the most important cases that are addressed in civil rights courses. These stories give the students and faculty members a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural background of the cases and an insight into their long-term impact on the development of civil rights law.