Court cases regarding the civil rights movement in America

This is an overview of te court cases that you need to know for the edexcel exam, with a brief description of the cases, and the effects that they had on the civil rights movement.

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  • Created by: Natasha
  • Created on: 15-04-13 13:23
Preview of Court cases regarding the civil rights movement in America

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Plessey vs. Ferguson, 1896
Plessey sat in the white area of a train, and claimed the government acted illegally-
against the 14th amendment. Court declared `separate but equal'
Smith vs. Allwright, 1944
Voting rights- black people weren't allowed to vote in the primaries; basically they had no
say on who would represent their state (Texas). All-white primaries were declared illegal
throughout America
Morgan vs. Virginia, 1946
Challenged segregation on interstate buses, Irene Morgan was fined for refusing to give
up her seat (Thurgood Marshall ­ her lawyer) ruling declared segregation on interstate
buses illegal.
Sweatt vs. Painter, 1950
Heman sweat wanted to go to law school, not allowed in the all-white school. The Texans
set up a black school but the NAACP rejected it saying the `separate could never be
equal'. Led to higher education de-segregated. The first successful campaign that led
to an end in segregation in education.
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
Oliver Brown wanted his daughter to go to the local school, but due to segregation she
had to go to one 20 blocks away. After 3 years of legal battles the Supreme Court
declared that segregation was illegal in American schools.
Brown II (1955)
De jure change led to little de facto change. NAACP asked the court to provide a time
table of change. The Supreme Court ruled the de-segregation of schools should occur
`with all deliberate speed'. This pleased no-one.
Browder vs. Gale (1956)
NAACP used Aurelia Browder; she refused to give up her seat on a bus. Case went to the
Supreme Court. On 20 Dec 1956 the court outlawed segregation of buses (In Montgomery
buses were de-segregated the next day- successful)
Cooper vs. Aaron (1958)
Following the little roc campaign, the NAACP went to court. The Supreme Court ruled it
was illegal to prevent desegregation for any reason.
Boynton vs. Virginia (1960)
To try and force the desegregation of interstate transport facilities
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Daniel (1968)

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Jane Daniel was convicted of Robbery, and was sentenced to much longer compared to
er male accomplice. The case was to overturn the Muncy Act, which meant women got
longer sentences than men. Case was successful.
Weeks vs. Southern Bell (1969)
Lorena Weeks took Southern Bell to court for claiming that they didn't promote her
because she was a woman despite being more experienced. She won. Set precedent for
women to challenge sexism in the workplace.…read more


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