civil rights

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Definition:

The Supreme Court case, since overturned by Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which upheld the constitutionality of “separate, but equal facilities” based on race.

Overview:

Louisiana had adopted a law in 1890 that required railroad companies to provide racially segregated accommodations. In 1892, the state of Louisiana prosecuted Plessy, a man who was 7/8 Caucasian and 1/8 Black, for refusing to leave a passenger car designated for whites.

Keywords: 

Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

The Supreme Court held that the custodial interrogation of an individual must be accompanied by an instruction that the person has the right to remain silent, any statements made can be used against the person, and that the individual has the right to counsel, either retained or appointed; absent these safeguards, statements made in this context will be inadmissible in court.  (Read the opinion here.)

serious health condition

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees may take leave for their own serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves (1) inpatient care; (2) incapacity for more than three full days with continuing treatment by a health care provider; (3) incapacity due to pregnancy or prenatal care; (4) incapacity due to, or treatment for, a chronic serious health condition; (5) permanent or long-term incapacity for a condition for which treatment may not be effective, such as a terminal illness; or (6) absence for multiple treatments for either restorative surgery following an injury or accident, or a condition that would require an absence of more than three days if not treated.

Section 1981

A shorthand reference to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which declares African Americans to be citizens entitled to a series of rights previously reserved to white men. Among the rights conferred by Section 1981 are the right to sue or be sued in court, to give evidence in a lawsuit, to purchase property, and to make and enforce contracts, which courts have interpreted to prohibit racial discrimination in employment.

right to privacy

1) The right not to have one's personal matters disclosed or publicized; the right to be left alone. 2) The right against undue government intrusion into fundamental personal issues and decisions. Although the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly state that there is a right to privacy, Supreme Court decisions have found an implicit constitutional right to privacy in striking down laws that criminalize sodomy, the use of contraceptives, and abortion.

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