Expansion of Civil Rights

By Kiley Sullivan

Background of Brown vs Board of Education

In the 1950's there were five different cases that involved segregation in public schools, specifically Brown. The US District Court, with three judges, ruled in favor of the board of education. They appealed it in the Supreme Court in 1952, all five cases were presented together by Marshall. Marshall argued that the school was segregated, violating the 14th amendment equal protection law. He also argued that according to scientists and data black children often felt inferior to the white children in school. The justices were divided and unable to make a decision by June 1953, they decided to rehear the case in December. The Chief justice died before December, and Earl Warren became the chief justice. After Earl Warren became chief, they came to a verdict. The verdict was that all segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

Significance of Brown vs Board of Education

The Brown vs Board of education is an important case because it finally implemented the 14th amendment. Even after the Civil War segregation existed, mostly in Southern states. This case, actually five cases, were a turning point because the Supreme Court had finally made segregation unconstitutional.

Background of Roe vs Wade

In Texas a single, pregnant woman named Jane Roe brought a class action suit that challenged the abortion laws of Texas. The law in Texas was a mother could not abort a child unless her life was in jeopardy. The case went to the Supreme Court where they ruled the law unconstitutional, a mother had a choice and that was her privacy. This is still a issue we face today, and often political candidates have to choose a side. Similar cases have been brought to the Supreme Court and they have reaffirmed its ruling.

Significance of Roe vs Wade

The ruling of Roe vs Wade ha been reaffirmed every time a similar case arises. Abortion is a controversial topic so the verdict has made a decision that has stood for many years. The verdict also expanded the "rights to privacy".

19th Amendment

The 19th amendment gives all U.S. citizens the right to vote, no one can be denied because of their sex. In 1848 suffrage movements began on a national level, and in 1869 the National Woman Suffrage Association was formed. Certain states allowed women to vote, but the 19th amendment allowed all women that were U.S. citizens to vote.

Significance of the 19th Amendment

The significance of the 19th amendment is it let all U.S. citizens participate in government. It gave women an equal opportunity and power in our society.

Background of 15th Amendment

The 15th amendment was ratified on February 3, 1870 allowing any colored man to vote. Even though the 15th amendment was ratified, southern states would not fully recognize it until almost a century later. They would use literacy tests and poll taxes to make sure the colored men could not vote.

Significance of the 15th Amendment

Segregation took may years to at least decrease it. By letting colored men vote it was a big step on the way to equality. We still see racism today, but compared to the past we have come a long way. Voting gives people the right to participate in government, which is why this amendment is extremely important.

Works Cited

History.com Staff. "Fifteenth Amendment." History.com. A+E Networks, 2009. Web. 22 Sept. 2015. <http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/fifteenth-amendment>.

History.com Staff. "19th Amendment." History.com. A+E Networks, 2010. Web. 22 Sept. 2015.

McBride, Alex. "Roe v. Wade (1973)." The Supreme Court. PBS, n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2015.

Segregation Held Unconstitutional. 1954. University of Iowa, Iowa. The University of Iowa. Web. 22 Sept. 2015. <http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/drp/2013/05/17/brown-v-board-of-education/>.

United States Park Service. "Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 22 Sept. 2015. Web. 22 Sept. 2015.