How the Courts Address or Respect Our Rights as Citizens (Coursework Sample)
This week's assignment should include (a) summary of the case; (b) a case outline; and a summary.
A. Summary of the Case
In one or two paragraphs, provide a general overview of the case that serves as a snapshot of what the case is about and how it ended up in your state high court. A summary is using your words to write a brief history of the case. Do not give your opinion or your interpretation but stick to the facts only.
B: Case Outline
Your court case outline should include:
Title: Name of the case
Facts of the case: Provide key facts involving the case.
History of the case: What legal action was taken based on what your state laws say about this case?
Legal questions: What were the legal issues the court had to decide?
Decision or holdings: Did the court decide for the plaintiff or the defendant? Explain the reason behind the decision?
Verdict and opinion (judgement): What were the concurring and dissenting opinions? How many judges decided for the defendant and how many justices decided against the defendant? What was the final verdict from the judge or the jury, if it was a jury trial?
What was the resulting impact of the ruling? How did the citizens of your state benefit from it? Was this a good decision?
How the Courts Address or Respect Our Rights as Citizens
A. Case Summary
In this discussion, the emphasis is made on the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. This case was a landmark decision made by the Supreme Court in 1896 whereby the constitutionality of racial segregation was upheld as per the “separate but equal” doctrine. This case arose from an instance whereby an African American train passenger refused to sit in a car which was designated for black people. The court rejected Plessy’s argument that his constitutional rights had been violated (Brown & Harlan, 1896). In the ruling, the Supreme Court stated that a law which would imply merely a particular legal distinction between Blacks and Whites was not unconstitutional. Consequently, restrictive Jim Crow laws and separate accommodation of Blacks and Whites in public places became the norm.
The background of this case was the end of the era of reconstruction and after the Compromise of 1877. At this time, the federal troops had been withdrawn from the South and there was control of the Democrats in the state legislatures all over the region. Southern Blacks viewed the promise of equality as per the law as being embodied in the 13th to the 15th Amendment to the American Constitution as receding quickly and that a return of disenfranchisement and spread of white supremacist ideas was reasserting itself all over the South. By the 1880s, black Americans and Whites from the South were mixing freely up to that point when state legislatures started to pass laws which required railroads to come up with separate cars from colored passengers as well as Negros.
B. Case Outline
1. Title/ Name of the Case
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)
Plessy, a person who was one-eighth black, bought a first-class ticket for a train trip on the East Louisiana Railway which was owned by the state. He selected to sit in an all-white car of the train. The conductor of the train found him seated in that car and asked him to leave the train since it was reserved for white people. He further told Plessy that he should find a seat within the colored car section of the train. Plessy declined to obey the orders and was subsequently arrested on the basis of Louisiana state laws which permitted the use of the “separate but equal” doctrine in which blacks and whites could be accommodated separately in public places. Plessy would later be found guilty for violating the laws of the state due to his presence on the train. In his appeal, he asserted that Louisiana law was in violation of his constitutional rights as per the 13th Amendment and the 14th Amendment which prohibited slavery and advocated for equal protection respectively.
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