Street Law: A Course in Practical Law
Cases and ResourcesWhat Is Discrimination?
Discrimination Based on Race
Discrimination Based on National Origin and Citizenship Status
Discrimination Based on Gender
Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation
Discrimination Based on Age
Discrimination Based on Disability
State and Local Laws Against Discrimination
Plessy v. Ferguson
Read about the 1896 Supreme Court case allowing "separate but equal" facilities for black and white people. From this page, you may also link to the full text of the decision or read related resources. Learn more about this case by exploring the resources on landmarkcases.org.
Brown v. Board of Education
Read about the 1954 Supreme Court decision that reversed Plessy v. Ferguson. From this page, link to the full text of the decision or read related resources. Take an in-depth look at this case by exploring the resources on landmarkcases.org
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Explore the full text of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act is the first major legislation to resolve discrimination issues during the civil rights movement. What does this act protect?
The Civil Rights Act of 1968
Read the full text of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. What does this act protect?
Civil Rights: An Overview
Learn more about the civil rights movement and the area of civil rights law. Read about the issues over which civil rights lawyers and policy-makers debate and legislate.
What is Discrimination?
Types of Discrimination
The U.S. Department of Justice handles many civil rights issues. Review this page providing examples of numerous types of discrimination, including discrimination due to race, age, disability, or nationality. Click on the type of discrimination to learn more. This site also instructs people how to file a complaint if they feel they have been victims of discrimination.
Levels of Scrutiny
Deciding which of the three different tests to apply to a case depends on the type of discrimination involved. Read this review of the three different tests and which types of discrimination fall under each test. Click on the significant cases to read decisions by the Supreme Court for each test.
Loving v. Virginia
In this landmark case, the Supreme Court ruled that laws preventing people of different race from getting married were unconstitutionally discriminatory. What level of scrutiny did the Court use here?
Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. Hialeah
Read about the Supreme Court case applying the strict scrutiny test to a town's law forbidding animal sacrifices in response to a religious group. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Craig v. Boren
Read about the Supreme Court case applying the substantial relationship test to a state law distinguishing between males' and females' ages to legally purchase beer. From this page, read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Back to TopDiscrimination Based on Race
Issues of race relations have long been a part of American politics and society. Explore this site containing definitions of key terms such as "race" and "institutional racism." Use the links on both sides of the screen to lean more about racial discrimination.
There are some people that believe in the concept of "reverse discrimination." This describes discrimination against people who have traditionally been the ones in power in the United States. Read this article about the permissibility of using racial classifications to reverse the effects of discrimination.
Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Corp.
Read about the Supreme Court case upholding a zoning law that denied the construction of townhouses for low- and moderate-income tenants. From this page, read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
As part of an effort by towns to diversify school populations, many students are bused to schools in other towns. Listen to reports on this practice by NPR. Use the links on either side of the screen to learn more.
Board of Education v. Swann
This is the case, mentioned in your text, in which the Supreme Court upheld the use of busing to remedy the effects of past discrimination. Why was busing so controversial?
Race and Education
Learn more about race and discrimination in connection with education from Justice Learning.
Discrimination based on race is a problem that some believe affirmative action will remedy. Learn more about what affirmative action means and what arguments support and oppose affirmative action programs. You can listen to programs, read articles, or use teacher materials designed to learn about affirmative action.
Baton Rouge Battling Desegregation
This article describes the decades-old battle of one Louisiana city to desegregate the school system. Read how the case evolved over the years and what solutions have been offered.
Keyes v. School District No. 1
Read the Supreme Court case dealing with intentional or unintentional segregation in Denver public schools. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Explore this statement from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concerning the use of Native American images and nicknames as mascots.
Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1
This 2007 case, mentioned in your text, addressed the constitutionality of Seattle's plan to increase diversity in its public schools. Why did the Supreme Court strike down the plan?
Support for Equal Opportunity
Consider this position supporting equal opportunity programs. What are the most compelling arguments for considering race as a factor when hiring or deciding to admit students to a specific school?
Americans Against Discrimination and Preferences
Explore this collection of news articles and opinions opposing affirmative action programs. What are the most compelling arguments for not considering race as a factor when hiring or deciding to admit students to a specific school?
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
This 1978 Supreme Court case found the University of California's affirmative action admissions program at the medical school to be unconstitutional. From this page, read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or read related resources. You may take an in-depth look at this case at landmarkcases.org
Grutter v. Bollinger
Read about the 2003 Supreme Court case allowing the use of race in law school admissions at the University of Michigan. From this page, read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Gratz v. Bollinger
Explore about the 2003 Supreme Court case striking down the University of Michigan's undergraduate affirmative action program. From this page, read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or read related resources.
Federal Laws and Job Discrimination
There are federal and state protections against discrimination in the workplace. Review federal laws that protect you from job discrimination and learn about employment discrimination by exploring answers to frequently asked questions such as how to sue for employment discrimination, what kinds of cases involve employment discrimination, and whether you can be fired for filing an employment discrimination complaint.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Explore the full text of the act prohibiting discrimination in employment based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
United Steelworkers of America v. Weber
Read the 1979 Supreme Court case upholding a temporary affirmative action program to increase the number of minority steelworkers. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co.
Read about the Supreme Court case striking down a town's affirmative action program to award construction contracts to minority construction companies. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Piscataway Board of Education v. Taxman
Explore the outcome of this case that was settled before it reached the Supreme Court. What facts should have been considered in choosing which teacher to lay off?
A Case of "Diversity"
Read about the people involved in Taxman v. Piscataway. Do you agree with the Court's decision?
Federal Voting Rights Laws
Learn more about the development of voting rights laws in the federal government. Begin with an introduction of federal voting rights laws, what voting was like before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and how voting has changed since the passage of this act.
Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections
In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that requiring voters to pay a poll tax in order to vote violated the Equal Protection Clause. Read the full opinion or a summary of the case at this site.
Racial groups that are underrepresented in voting districts often are not heard. Gerrymandering, the act of redistricting that changes the composition of a district, can be illegal if it is used just to change the concentration of votes in order to achieve a certain political outcome. However, racial gerrymandering may be easier to justify in court.
Miller v. Johnson
Take a closer look at this 1995 Supreme Court case dealing with a very oddly shaped voting district. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Recognizing collective rights of groups sharing a common culture, race, ethnicity, religion, or language may give that group more power to fight for its interests. Read an article describing the difference between collective rights and individual rights. Which do you think is the best system?
The Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Collective rights often arise when discussing the human rights of indigenous peoples of specific regions. Explore this discussion of collective rights and the rights of indigenous peoples from the Indigenous Peoples' Human Rights Initiative.
Back to TopDiscrimination Based on National Origin and Citizenship Status
Facts About National Origin Discrimination
Review information about national origin discrimination from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In what ways does national origin discrimination occur in the workplace?
Federal Protections Against National Origin Discrimination
Learn about federal laws that protect you from discrimination based on national origin. Protections exist in housing, employment, education, and other areas.
Discrimination: Immigration Status
Unions may also protect members against discrimination based on immigration status. Read the information provided by one of the country's largest unions on how to recognize and handle citizenship status discrimination.
Plyler v. Doe
Read about the 1982 Supreme Court case described in your text in The Case of Educating the Children of Undocumented People. From this page, read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Discrimination in Response to September 11, 2001
Discrimination against persons of Middle Eastern descent arose in response to the terrorist acts carried out on September 11, 2001. Read the U.S. Department of Justice's response in an effort to protect the rights of victims of national origin discrimination.
Back to TopDiscrimination Based on Gender
History of the Women's Rights Movement
Explore a timeline of women's struggles to obtain equality with men. What issues have women addressed in the past?
The Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) still has many supporters, despite its failure to be ratified as part of the Constitution. Learn more about what this amendment would mean to women's rights.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963
Read the full text of the Equal Pay Act. Are women paid the same amount as men for equivalent jobs?
Although the rights of women have changed dramatically over the last few decades, there are many issues that women face today. Read an extensive list of resources concerning women in athletics, women in the military, women in the workforce, and the societal difficulties that concern women.
United States v. Virginia
Read about the 1996 Supreme Court case described in your text in The Case of the Single-Sex School. From this page, read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources. You may also read a news article describing what it was like to be one of the first women at VMI.
Facts About Sexual Harassment
Take a closer look at the facts about sexual harassment in the workplace. How does federal law protect men and women from sexual harassment?
Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services
Read the 1998 Supreme Court case applying sexual harassment to same-sex harassment as well as opposite-sex harassment. From this page, read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Read this discussion of the two important 1998 cases in which the Supreme Court addressed the liability of employers for sexual harassment of their employees. Then read the full opinions in both cases: Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Ellerth v. Burlington Industries, Inc.
Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education
Read this case in which the Supreme Court held that schools could be liable for money damages for failing to take action against student to student sexual harassment. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Harris v. Forklift Systems
This case corresponds with The Case of The Obnoxious Remarks in your textbook. Read the outcome of this case. Do you agree with the ruling?
Title IX: What It Changed
Read a description of Title IX and how this legislation changed education and school activities for women.
Gender Equity in Sports
Examine the actual text of Title IX, articles describing the law, and legal actions based on Title IX.
Institute for Women's Policy Research
Explore this site mentioned in your text. This organization is dedicated to conducting research and communicating its findings to address the needs of women and to promote public dialogue.
Back to TopDiscrimination Based on Sexual Orientation
Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians: Human Rights Watch
Learn about discrimination in the United States against gay and lesbian people. This site contains informational articles as well as current news stories.
Facts About Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Family Status
Take a closer look at how federal law protects victims of discrimination based on sexual orientation or family status.
State Laws Concerning Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians in the Workplace
Review information regarding federal, state and local laws banning discrimination against gay and lesbian people. Does your state or town have such a law? What do the laws protect?
Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Read this article about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Learn more about ENDA from the Human Rights Campaign, which supports the bill, and from the Christian Legal Society, which is opposed to it. Read the arguments on both sites.
Discrimination in the Federal Government
In 1998, President Clinton signed an executive order forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation in the employment practices of the federal government. This site explains the order, as well as changes that have been made since it was signed.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Read this article about the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Why do some on both sides of the issue consider this a good compromise? Why do some on both sides of the issue consider this a bad policy?
Romer v. Evans
Read about the 1996 Supreme Court decision finding a Colorado amendment to the state constitution unconstitutional. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Lawrence and Garner v. Texas
This 2003 Supreme Court case found a state law forbidding specific types of consensual sex between same-sex adults to be unconstitutional. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale
Read the decision in the 2000 case permitting the Boy Scouts of America to fire a Boy Scout assistant scoutmaster because he was gay. What was the reasoning behind the Court's decision? From this page, read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Visit the Web site maintained by the organization Public Agenda. This is an excellent place to learn about controversial public issues. Visit the page on gay rights issues to learn more about past and current debates.
Back to TopDiscrimination Based on Age
Facts About Age Discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides facts about age discrimination. What are the legal responsibilities of employers that post openings for job positions or employers that offer specific benefits to employees?
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Read the full text of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. How does this law protect people from age discrimination?
Administration on Aging
Besides discrimination in the workplace, aging persons in the United States confront discrimination issues in housing, medical care, and other areas of life. Read about the issues facing elderly people today and what efforts are being taken by this federal government agency to address these issues.
Americans for a Society Free from Age Restrictions
Discrimination based on age can happen to young people. Browse information from an organization dedicated to removing age restrictions for youth from areas such as housing, voting, and alcohol.
Massachusetts Board of Retirement v. Murgia
Read about the Supreme Court case described in your text in The Case of the Forced Retirement. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Back to TopDiscrimination Based on Disability
Americans with Disabilities Act
Explore the full text of the Americans with Disabilities Act. What changes have been made in this law through amendments? Read through questions and answers regarding this legislation. How does this act protect people?
Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Read the full text of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. What did this early legislation accomplish in protecting people with disabilities from discrimination?
Americans with Disabilities
In addition to handling issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the federal government provides information concerning many topics related to living with disabilities. Browse through this Web site for the ADA and learn more.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) made many changes in the American education system for students with various types of disabilities. From this page, read the full text of the IDEA, browse related documents, and learn about how this law is applied to schools.
Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley
Examine the full text of the Supreme Court decision described in your text in The Case of the Student with a Disability. What did the Court decide, and what reasons were used to support the Court's opinion?
Bradgon v. Abbott
Read the Supreme Court case described in your text in The Case of the Dentist and His HIV-Infected Patient. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
PGA Tour v. Martin
Read the Supreme Court case described in your text in The Case of the Golfer and His Golf Cart. From this page, you may also read the full text of the decision, listen to the oral arguments, or browse related resources.
Architectural Barriers Act of 1968
Read the full text of the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968. This law requires that public building be made accessible for people with disabilities, such as those confined to wheel chairs or the blind.
Back to TopHousing Discrimination
Discrimination and Fair Housing
This article describes different types of discrimination that may occur when a person seeks housing. Learn about each type and the rights of tenants and landlords.
The Fair Housing Laws
Read the full texts or summaries of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, amendments to the Fair Housing Act, and various other pieces of legislation meant to protect people from discrimination in all types in housing situations. Click on the additional resources to explore publications on housing discrimination or learn how to file a complaint.
There are many organizations that try to help people learn about their rights in housing discrimination cases. Visit this Web site to find information describing the different types of discrimination in housing and how some people have fought back.
Community Reinvestment Act of 1977
Read the full text of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. This law ensures that banks will make loans to fund low-income housing. Why is this law important in preventing housing discrimination?
Back to TopState and Local Laws Against Discrimination
State Laws and Sexual Orientation
Use this map to compare and contrast the state laws protecting individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Does your state have a statute regarding this topic?
Council on Size and Weight Discrimination
Americans are growing in size, and issues surrounding discrimination based on size and weight are also increasing. Take a closer look at how federal and local laws are addressing such forms of discrimination.
State Laws: Marital Discrimination
Review this chart of states comparing laws based on marital status. Is it ever appropriate to distinguish between married and unmarried people when making a state law?
National Association of Mothers' Centers
Discriminating against people due to family responsibility, such as the responsibility to raise and care for children, can happen in the workplace or other venues. Explore this site dedicated to defending mothers from discrimination based on their responsibility to children.
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