Culture War and the Sumpreme Court

By: Ryan Brinda

Whitus v. Georgia-1967

The Issue: The plaintiffs argued that, as their county had a 45% population of African-Americans, it was discrimination and unfair to have been presented with all-white or nearly all white juries each time.

The Rights Involved: Fourteenth amendment which states the right to be free from discrimination in states to have due process of law and equal protection of the law.

Impact: The Supreme court ruled that convictions cannot stand if it was based on verdicts of juries on which racial discrimination has occurred.

Historical Significance: There always must be a mix of race in the jury selection in order to make the case unbiased.

Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education-1969

The Issue: The plaintiff argued that there were delays in school desegregation because schools were still segregated in society even though there were laws that said we were all equal.

The Rights Involved: Brown v. Brown of Education case, which took place 15 years before this case, stated that separate but equal is not equal. Also, Brown v. Board of Education II said they will desegregate with "deliberate speed" or when they get around to it.

Impact: The Supreme Court ordered immediate desegregation of public schools in the American South.

Historical Significance: Public schools must be desegregated and open to any race that decides to go to a public school.

United States v. Fordice-1992

The Issue: The plaintiff argued that eight public universities in Mississippi had not sufficiently integrated and that the state must take action to change this under the Equal a Protection Clause.

The Rights Involved: Equal Protection Clause, which took effect in 1868, provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction "the equal protection of the laws".

Impact: The Supreme Court resulted in an eight to one ruling that stated the system was not declared unconstitutional; simply the court ruled that more action needed to be taken to ensure integration.

Historical Significance: Colleges and Universities must be integrated because of the Equal Protection Clause.

Rice v. Cayetano-2000

The Issue: The plaintiffs argued that Hawaii's denial of the right to vote in OHA trustee elections based on ancestry violates the Fifteenth Amendment.

The Rights Involved: Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

Impact: In 2000 the Court ruled that the state could not restrict eligibility to vote in elections for the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to persons of Native Hawaiian descent.

Historical Significance: Established that any citizens of the United States, no matter your race or native descent, has the ability to vote if he or she desires.

Which two supreme justices will most likely leave office after the 2016 election?

The two supreme justices most likely to leave office are Ruth Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer. Ruth Ginsberg is expected to leave office soon because she has colon cancer and Stephen Breyer is expected to leave office soon because of his age and health conditions.

How will these vacancies affect the Supreme Court?

Ruth Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer were both appointed to office by President Clinton, so they both have more liberal views than conservative viewpoints. If these two justices leave office after the 2016 election, then the Supreme Court would get either two more liberals or two more conservatives, depending on the president elected in the 2016 election.


Overall, the Culture War in the United States is an non-stopping issue. There will always be issues and court cases about racist and segregation that will continue over the years. This is because many people white people down south still think they are superior to blacks which causes much controversy. The Supreme Court cases surrounding race, the 14th and 15th amendment, will continue to cause problems because not everybody is ever equal.