Review of Minority Rights Cases

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Plessy vs. Ferguson

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Facts: Plessy was arrested for the violation of the Louisiana statute of 1980 which provided for segregated but equal railroad accommodation. Plessy attempted to sit in an all-white railroad car and rejected to sit in a black railway carriage. Those using the facilities that did not correspond to their race were criminally liable under that statute. The presiding Justice John H. Ferguson found Plessy guilty because the law was a legitimate exercise of the state police powers depending on the usage, tradition and custom of the country. A petition boundary on writs of prohibition and certiorari were filed by Plessy in the Supreme Court of the state of Louisiana against Judge Ferguson. Plessy claimed that the law of the segregation made the black race feel less and by far this was a violation of the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments.

Issues: Is the rule of law in Louisiana mandating racial separation on its trains an unconstitutional violation of both the privileges, rights and immunities of the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Procedure: The state had powers under the Constitution to pass a law that allows people of divergent races to use segregated but equal facilities (Brown).

Reasoning: The statute merely defined legal a distinction of the two races, white and the colored does not intend to destroy the legal equality between the two races. The fourteenth amendment was created to create equally before the law. The amendment could not have been designed to abolish distinction based upon color in the nature of things.

Ricci vs. Destefano

Facts: The white and Hispanic who were due to be to the fire department at the New Haven sued various city officials. New Haven Civil Service Board deliberately neglected the certification of two exams needed for the plaintiffs promotion. The CSB avoided the certification to prevent disproportionate between the number of white candidates and the minority. According to the plaintiffs, their rights under the Title VII of the Civil rights act of 1964 had been violated. Affirmation was done by the United States court of appeal. During the assertion, the court argued that by the CSB rejecting to certify the results of the exams, was trying to carry out its mandate under the same laws that the plaintiff were using to sue.

Issues: Can a municipality fail to certify results from otherwise valid civil service exam when the results will obliviously prevent the promotion of minority candidates? Does federal court through U.S.C section 2000e poses power to relieve municipalities from having to comply with local laws that is race blind and require strict compliance.

Procedure: The Court ruled in the favor of RICCI where it was determined that failing to certify the exams was indeed the violation of the plaintiffs rights as mentioned in the civil rights act of 1964.

Reasoning: The Supreme Court ruled that by rejecting the exams, the City of New Haven breach the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.The court of appeal continued to argue that strong evidence prove that it will subject disparate impact liability was not there. The supreme court had the view that New Haven could have produced that evidence before engaging in intentional discrimination. The court held that the New Haven did not prove different results and that the exams were work related

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