Classifications Based on Race and National Origin: Laws Requiring Separation of Races Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Classifications Based on Race and National Origin: Laws Requiring Separation of Races Deck (12):


Racial classifications only allowed if gov’t can meet strict scrutiny standard: demonstrate that discrimination is necessary to achieve a compelling gov’t purpose that can’t be achieved through less discriminatory means

14th Amendment: overruled Dred Scott and meant to prohibit discrimination based on race

Strict scrutiny justified b/c of political powerlessness of these groups, and b/c immutable trait


Korematsu v. United States (1944) J. Black

over-inclusive okay if justified, strict scrutiny clearly applies

Holding: Only case where Court expressly upheld racial classifications under strict scrutiny by affirming constitutionality of the evacuation of Japanese Americans during WWII

Court accepted gov’ts justification that there was risk to national security

Temporary exclusion of the entire group was part of “hardships” of wartime

Implications: enormously over-inclusive by including all Japanese-Americans, but also enormously under-inclusive b/c other races that posed a threat of disloyalty weren’t interned/evacuated


Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) J. Brown

Holding: Upheld law mandating blacks and whites use separate but equal facilities under 14A

Law about train car assignments

Equal is equal: Each race treated equally – so not discriminatory. Neither race is inferior here.

Harlan dissent: this is much more about excluding black people than treating each separate but equal


Attack on “separate but equal”

Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada (1938): Court held that it was unconstitutional for MO to refuse to admit blacks to its law schools, but to instead pay for them to attend out-of-state schools

Sweatt v. Painter (1950): Court ordered university to admit a black student, schools obvs not equal

McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents (1950): Court held that once blacks were admitted to previously all-white school, university couldn’t segregate classes/libraries/cafeterias



Brown v. Board of Education (1954) J. Warren

School systems challenged segregation in public schools.

Holding: Separate but equal is not permissible in public education. Must look at effects, not just tangibles.

Must consider public education in light of its full development since Plessy

Segregation has had significant impact on education: unequal educational opportunities, inherently stamps black children as inferior

Brown II: remanded cases to lower courts to fashion remedies to desegregate

Implementation of Brown: Need to have remedies. Freedom of choice not enough, need to ensure integration



Theories of Brown v. Board:

Color-blindness: race is never permissible basis to distribute public benefits or burdens

Caste: race is impermissible basis for distributing public benefits of burdens when it has social/psychological effects of stigmatizing or subordinating a racial group

White supremacy: segregation laws were impermissible tainted products b/c of legislative process where white voters predominated

Integration: as desirable social policy, important to democratic society


Bolling v. Sharpe (1954) J. Warren

extended Brown to federal gov’t by holding that segregation in public schools violated DP clause of 5th Amendment


Loving v. Virginia (1967)

ight to marry/eliminate segregation: Court declared unconstitutional Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute that prohibited a white person from marrying anyone other than another white person.

Law violated EP AND protected liberty w/o due process - right to marry is fundamental

Clear classifications, designed to maintain white supremacy


Strauder v. West Virginia

Court invalided WV law that limited jury service to white men, under 14A

Facially discriminatory law, laid grounds for civil v. social rights


Palmore v. Sidoti

Court invalided law that prevented mother from gaining custody of her child because she married a person of a different race. Constitution can’t tolerate private prejudices.


Johnson v. CA

Court held that state policy of segregating prisoners was invalid under strict scrutiny