Civil Rights Act of 1957
First Civil Rights Legislation accepted by Congress since reconstruction.
A Voting Rights Bill.
A Dixiecrat senator called James Thurmond performed the longest filibuster in history to keep it from becoming law.
Due to this, it's enforcement became largely ineffective.
However, it inspired later legislations which would prove to be much more effective.
Civil Rights Act of 1960
This act set up federal inspection of local voting polls.
Anyone who obstructed someones attempt to register to vote or actually vote was penalised.
18 Southern Democrats oppsed this and set up a continuous filibuster where every member had to speak for 4 hours.
Civi Rights Act of 1964
Discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion and sex was oulawed in all public places of eccomodation and in employment.
Attorney General given power to start federal court action against any violation so guaranteed voter rights and the end to school segregation.
Any state which did not comlpy risked having their federal funds witheld by the government.
Set up the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission - could outlaw job discrimination.
Voting Rights Act 1965
Banned discriminatory tests for voter registration.
Attorney General given the right to supervise registration where fewer than half the minority residents had registered to vote.
Civil Rights Act of 1968
Banned discrimination that concerned the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion and national origin.
Provided protection for civil rights workers.
Known as the Fair Housing Act.
Plessy V. Ferguson 1896
Homer Plessy went to court and claimed that segregation was unlawful because all citizens were guaranteed equal rights under the 14th Amendment.
Judges of the Supreme Court decided that segregation was lawful as long as black and white citizens had access to facilities that were equally good.
Extremely influential as it laid the legal foundation for segregation.
Smith V. Allwright 1944
Concerned the voting rights of black people in Texas.
Excluded from primary elections.
Important: Primary elction more important than Congressional election in Texas because it effectively chose the winning candidate.
Lonnie Smith challenged this and with the backing of the NAACP he went to the Supreme Court.
Resulting Court Case ruled that the Texan white primary was illegal beacuse all citizens, black or white had the right to vote according to the 15th ammendment.
Morgan V. Virginia 1946
Challenged segregation on interstate bus services.
1944- Irene Morgan was fined $100 when she refused to give up her seat for a white man. She argued that it violated her constitutional rights.
She took her case to the supreme court and they ruled segreagation on interstate bus services was illegal.
Sweatt V. Painter 1950
NAACP's first successful challenge against segregation in education.
A black student, Herman Sweatt wanted to study law in Texas but the Texas education system was segregated so he was refused admission to the University of Texas Law School.
The NAACP challenged this but the courts in Texas decided that the State had no duty to integrate the Law School. They ordered the creation of a law school specifically for Black students,
NAACP rejected this ruling and took the case to the supreme court, arguing that the new law school was inferior to the white law school. Supreme Court agreed and ordered the University of Texas Law School to accept Sweatt as a student.
Brown V. Topeka 1954
Oliver Brown took the state of Kansas to court for failing to provide his daughter with adequate education. Linda Brown was forced to attend an all Black school 20 blcoks away from her house and her father argued she would be better of attending the hite school which was much closer.
NAACP took the case to the Supreme Court and after three years of legal battles the Court decided that segregation was illegal in American schools. Turning point.
Marked an end to 'seperate but equal'.
In the first year the de jure victory of the Brown case resulted in little de facto change.
NAACP asked the Supreme Court to establish a timetable for desegregating Southern schools.
Supreme Court produced the Brown II ruling that stated the desegregation of education should occur with all deliberate speed.
NAACP believed the ruling was too vague to force any change and Southern racists saw this as a further attack on segregation.