Wednesday, January 07, 2004

1) Civil rights are a clear standard that can be fuly enforced ar all times to protect miniorites.

Not only does it serve minorities, but also anybody. Civil rights are used to refer to the right not to be discriminated against because of race, sex, religion, etc... The constitution provides two ways for protection of our rights; 1) being it makes sure that the officals do not discriminate against people, and 2) it grants state and national governments to prtect civil rights against discrimination by private individuals.

2) All of the Bill of Rights apply to state officals

In the bill of rights, equal protection under the law is guaranteed by the bill of rights and by the equal protection clause of the 14th Admendment, which applied this and much of the bill of rights to the states in the United States of America not to the state officals.

3) Flag buring and draft card burning are not afforded the same free speech protection the same free speech protection under the law.

Flag burning is a way of freedom of speech but think that this statement is incorrect and correct at the same time. For instance, even though to some people in he United States, there is no such thing as a false idea, but people say that free speech is considerd a "dangerous". The first admendment protects the freedom fo speech, but back in the 60's in Vietnam, many people protested about the draft people burned their draft cards as a symbol of protest, so i don't think that there is anything wrong as long as you don't cause some sort of riot, hurt somebody or destroy public property.

4) The language of the First Admendment clearly requires the separation of church and state.

The establishment clause of the first Admendment sets a wall of separation between church and state. The courts have created a 3-part test fot the consitiutionality of laws affecting religions; 1) They must have a secular purpose 2) Their primary efect must not advance or inhibit religion 3) They must avoid the excessive entanglement of government with religion.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Friday, December 12, 2003

In the Plessy v Ferguson trial, it was a landmark case of 1896 in which the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the legality of racial segregation. During the ruling, the segregation between the black people and the white people had already existed in most restaurants, schools, and other places (usually public places) in the American South. In the Plessy decision the United States Supreme Court ruled that racial separation did not defy the 14th Amendent of the United States Constitution. What this amendment does is that it provides equal protection of the law to all U.S. citizens, regardless of all races. In Plessy, the court ruled that it was legal to have racial segregation as long the facilities for the black people and the white people were separate but equal. In this separate but equal doctrine, schools, railroad cars, and other facilities in the South were made separate, but consequently they were hardly equal.

Background to Plessy v Ferguson (Segregation) (You don't have to read this background, this is only to impress Mr .Naron)

After the civil war ended, the states from the south began to separate the blacks from the whites in many public facilities. However, a period of rebuilding in the American south put a temporary stop to these policies in some places. In the south though, blacks had won enough political power during ‘Reconstruction� in order to hinder the passage of legislation designed to contravene them access to public facilities. Further. After the Civil War the government committed itself to embrace a cause to some rational degree of racial fairness. However, most schools from the south were separated and blacks were forced to insufficient public facilities.

After the year 1877, white people gained a lot more political control and dominance in the south that blacks did at that time and the government did very little to cease the worsening situation of southern black people. Because of this problem, segregation was spreading but in a gradual matter. By the middle of the 1890’s many forms of public transpiration like railroad cars and others had become segregated of separated in quite a few of southern states.

Plessy and the legal challenge (You must read)

The case of Plessy came out of a cautious strategy to determine the outcome of the legality of a Louisiana law in the year 1890 that was in need of railroads to keep up separate box cars for black people and white people. In New Orleans, Louisiana, a group of blacks made the Citizens Committee to inquest the Constitutionality of the Segregation Car Law and raised about $3000 to prepare a formal challenge to segregation in the state of Louisiana. However, the nations best white advocate of black legal rights, Albion Tourgee, agreed to argue the case free of charge.

During the month of June 1892, Homer A. Plessy bought a first class ticket on the East Louisiana Railroad and Plessy sat in the car that was only designed for white people. However, Plessy was an interesting mix of African and European ancestry, and he looked white. This alerted the officials of the railroad that Plessy would be sitting in the area that only white people are allowed to sit in which the Citizens Committee wanted to challenge the segregation law in court, even though he had a little bit of African descendent in him. Plessy was then arrested and brought into court for prosecution before a judge by the name of Judge John H. Ferguson of the Unites States District Court in the state of Louisiana. After, Plessy then attempted to put an end to the trial by suing Ferguson on the conditions that the segregation law was not right, but UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

In 1896, Plessy’s arduous challenge reached the United States Supreme Court, where Tourgee argued that segregation violated the 13th Amendment’s prohibition of involuntary servitude and segregation also violated the 14th Amendment’s in which it guarantees of equal protection of the law. After all the violations of the court, Tourgee then asserted that the 13th and 14th amendments, along with the 1776 Declaration of Independence protect all Americans from such prejudice. Tourgee then told the court that the 14th Amendment gave the Declaration of Independence constitution power. However, the court rejected the arguments of Tourgee by a vote of 7 to 1. Justice Henry Billings Brown spoke for the court and had declared that the 14th Amendment was adopted to impose the absolute inequality of the two races before the law. Though he argued the amendment could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color as distinguished form political equality, or a commingling of the two races.Ignoring the reality of segregation in the South, Justice Brown denied Tourgee’s argument that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. Brown asserted that segregation was not discriminatory because whites were also segregated from blacks. Thus, if segregation made blacks feel inferior, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it. Brown stated:

"Legislation is powerless to eradicate racial instincts or to abolish distinctions based upon physical differences, and the attempt to do so can only result in accentuating the difficulties of the present situation. If the civil and political rights of both races be equal, one cannot be inferior to the other civilly or politically. If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane." (Plessy v Ferguson)

The decision in the Plessy case granted constitutional sanction to the separate but equal doctrine. As long as segregated facilities were equal they were permissible.

Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote a bitter dissent to the court’s opinion. A former slaveholder, Harlan acknowledged that the white race was the dominant race in this country. But Harlan declared:

"In the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved." (Plessy v Ferguson)

Harlan believed the court’s decision would “stimulate aggressions, more or less brutal and irritating, upon the admitted rights of colored citizens.� Harlan predicted that “The thin disguise of equal accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead any one, nor atone for the wrong this day done.� He believed that the Louisiana law was “inconsistent with the personal liberty of citizens, white and black� and “hostile to both the spirit and letter of the Constitution of the United States.� In January 1897 Homer Plessy pled guilty to attempting to board a white railroad car and paid a $25 fine.

The Aftermath of Plessy v Ferguson (You don't have to read this, this is only to impress Mr. Naron)

The south was creating a segregated society before the court decided Plessy. The Plessy ruling merely accelerated the process and provided it with legal sanction. Within a few years almost every institution or facility in the South was segregated. In addition to schools, street cars, railroads, hotels, and restaurants, southern states segregated sports arenas, telephone booths, and elevators. In some states blacks and whites could not fish on the same lakes, play baseball together, or shoot pool at the same establishment. Most American blacks, and some whites, condemned the Plessy decision and its repercussions. Some of this opposition led to the creation in 1909 of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a civil rights organization dedicated to fighting racial segregation. Most whites in the North ignored the plight of Southern blacks in the wake of Plessy, while most Southern whites used the decision to justify racial discrimination.
Nearly 60 years passed before the Supreme Court ruled, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), that the “separate but equal� doctrine had no place in public education. Two years later, in Gayle v. Browder (1956), the Supreme Court struck down segregation in public transportation—the same kind of segregation upheld in Plessy. By then the South had built a social and legal system deeply rooted in racial segregation. It took numerous lawsuits, much federal legislation, and a concerted effort of civil rights protesters in the 1950s and 1960s to finally dismantle the system of segregation upheld by the Plessy ruling.

1) Reread the decision. Examine the quoted material. Concider the logic of the court in determining that "separation" was not a violation of the 14th amendment. Can you find any logical flaw? Is there any practical flaw?

2)The court was aware that it decsion would legalize segregation/separation, but apparently felt that the question of social diffrences in the south was not a national problem, but rather for that area to slove. How does this illustrate a laissez-faire attitude on the part of the court?

1)In logical flaws, the court was in favor of the white race, and they did not consider that all men were created equal. The 14th admendment documented the equality for blacks, but the court ruled it as inequality. Blacks were segregated and the 14th admendment was contradicted by the courts. The separate but equal thing was made during the time of the 1800's. All the public facilities were all segregated from the black people, thus there was never equalilty.

2)This shows a laissez faire attitude on the court because they did not want to make a decsion based on segregation to blacks and the court paid no attention to the 14th admendment. The court wanted the states to have autonomy and make a decsion on the part of segregation . The courts then made this unconstitutional to every ohter court case during that time.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

FrQ mini's

Monday, December 08, 2003

Test Link

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Mini FRQ's

1) The American people expect so much from the president, sometimes a president has to be unconstitutuional to get the expectancy for the american people. Voters often place as much emphasis on presidential canidates personality or character as do on a canidates political believes and experence. The president could have a good conception about the american people and base his actions on that. The american people ask the president to help on issues so one thing that can help people is money. Money can help lots of issues going on in the United States.

2) Through recent years, the presidency has been expanded in many ways. Though, since the founding of the Republic, about one in three presidents has been responsible for some expansion of presidental powers. The sheer growth of the federal government has expanded the administrative options and powers of the presidency. Though, there has been a steady if not, uneven growth of the presidental powers in the presidency. The collasped of american isolationism has increased salince of foreign and defense policy, and consequently presidental powers as chief of state and commander of the armed forces. The postive support of American public opinion, and increased ability of the president to apper directly to the people, us through T.V., has also expanded presidental powers.

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