How did the 14th amendment change things?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
In the decades following the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court overturned laws barring blacks from juries (Strauder v. West Virginia (1880)) or discriminating against Chinese-Americans in the regulation of laundry businesses (Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886)), as violations of the Equal Protection Clause. However, in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the Supreme Court held that the states could impose segregation so long as they provided equivalent facilities—the genesis of the “separate but equal” doctrine. The Court went even further in restricting the Equal Protection Clause in Berea College v. Kentucky (1908), holding that the states could force private actors to discriminate by prohibiting colleges from having both black and white students. By the early twentieth century, the Equal Protection Clause had been eclipsed to the point that Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. dismissed it as "the usual last resort of constitutional arguments."
The Court held to the "separate but equal" doctrine for more than fifty years, despite numerous cases in which the Court itself had found that the segregated facilities provided by the states were almost never equal, until Brown v. Board of Education (1954) reached the Court. Brown met with a campaign of resistance from white Southerners, and for decades the federal courts attempted to enforce Brown's mandate against continual attempts at circumvention. This resulted in the controversial desegregation busing decrees handed down by federal courts in many parts of the nation (see Milliken v. Bradley (1974)). In Hernandez v. Texas, the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment protects those beyond the racial classes of white or "*****",and extends to other racial and ethnic groups, such as Mexican Americans in this case. In the half century since Brown, the Court has extended the reach of the Equal Protection Clause to other historically disadvantaged groups, such as women and illegitimate children, although it has applied a somewhat less stringent test than it has applied to governmental discrimination on the basis of race (United States v. Virginia (1996); Levy v. Louisiana (1968)).
Though the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment did not believe it would expand voting rights (leading to the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment), the Supreme Court, since Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) and Reynolds v. Sims (1964), has interpreted the Equal Protection Clause as requiring the states to apportion their congressional districts and state legislative seats on a "one man, one vote" basis. The Court has also struck down districting plans in which race was a major consideration. In Shaw v. Reno (1993), the Court prohibited a North Carolina plan aimed at creating majority-black districts to balance historic underrepresentation in the state's congressional delegations. In League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry (2006), the Court ruled that Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting plan intentionally diluted the votes of Latinos and thus violated the Equal Protection Clause.
- melvaLv 43 years ago
That's a good question!