Chapter 6: Civil Rights

Civil rights
The government-protected rights of individuals against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by governments or individuals.
Thirteenth amendment
One of the three Civil War amendments; abolished slavery.
Black codes
Laws denying most legal rights to newly freed slaves; passed by Southern states following the Civil War.
Fourteenth amendment
One of the three Civil War amendments; guarantees equal protection and due process of the law to all U.S citizens.
Fifteenth amendment
One of the three Civil war amendments; specifically enfranchised newly freed male slaves.
Jim Crow laws
Laws enacted by southern states that discriminated against blacks by creating “whites only” schools, theaters, hotels and other public accommodations.
Civil Rights cases (1883)
Name attached to five cases brought under the Civil Rights Act of 1875. In 1883, the Supreme Court decided that discrimination in a variety of public accommodations, including theaters, hotels, and railroads, could not be prohibited by the act because such discrimination was private discrimination and not state discrimination.
Poll tax
A tax levied in many southern states and localities that had to be paid before an eligible voter could cast a ballot.
Grandfather clause
Voting qualification provision in many Southern states that allowed only those whose grandfathers had voted before Reconstruction to vote unless they passed a wealth or literacy test
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
The Supreme Court case that upheld a Louisiana segregation law on the theory that as long as the accommodations between the racially segregated facilities were equal, the equal protection clause was not violated. The Court’s ruling effectively established the constitutionality of racial segregation and the notion of “separate but equal.”
Suffrage movement
The drive for voting rights for women that took place in the United States from 1890 to 1920.
Nineteenth amendment
Granted women the right to vote in 1920.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that school segregation is inherently unconstitutional because it violates the fourteenth amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.
Equal protection clause
Section of the Fourteenth Amendment that guarantees that all citizens receive “equal protection of the laws.”
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Wide-ranging legislation passed by Congress to outlaw segregation in public facilities and discrimination in employment, education, and voting; created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
De jure discrimination
Racial segregation that is a direct result of law or official policy.
De facto discrimination
Racial discrimination that results from practice (such as housing patterns, or other social or institutional, non governmental factors) rather than the law.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Federal Agency created to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids discrimination on the basis of race, creed, national origin, religion, or sex in hiring, promotion, or firing.
Suspect classification
Category or class, such as race, that triggers the highest standard of scrutiny from the Supreme Court.
Strict scrutiny
A heightened standard of review used by the Supreme Court to determine the constitutional validity of a challenged practice.
Title IX
Provision of the Educational Amendments of 1972 that bars educational institutions receiving federal funds from discriminating against female students.
Affirmative action
Policies designed to give special attention or compensatory treatment to members of a previously disadvantaged group.
Korematsu v. United States
A 1944 Supreme Court decision that upheld as constitutional the internment of more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent in encampments during World War II.
Regents of the Univ. of California v. Bakke
Supreme Court decision in 1978 that rule that a rigid quota plan for admissions violated the constitution’s equal protection guarantee, but that race could be considered a “plus” factor in college admissions to increase student body diversity.
Equal Rights amendment
Constitutional amendment passed by Congress but never ratified that would have banned discrimination on the basis of gender.