AP US Government : Role of Courts in Civil Rights

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Role Of Courts In Civil Rights

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is related to which two amendments of the United States Constitution?

Possible Answers:

The Twenty-First and Twenty-Second

The Sixteenth and Seventeenth

The Eighteenth and Twenty-First

The Fourteenth and Fifteenth

The First and Eighth

Correct answer:

The Fourteenth and Fifteenth

Explanation:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is noted for outlawing any discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, or gender. It is related to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the Constitution, which were passed shortly after the end of the Civil War. The Civil Rights Act promised to protect the right to equal protection established under the Fourteenth Amendment and also to protect the equal voting rights established under the Fifteenth Amendment.

Example Question #2 : Role Of Courts In Civil Rights

The Supreme Court case of Reynolds v. United States concerned __________.

Possible Answers:

immigration reform

the ability of local governments to levy taxes

the preservation of land for the exclusive use of Native Americans

the restriction of religious freedom if it violates criminal law

the legality of homosexuality

Correct answer:

the restriction of religious freedom if it violates criminal law

Explanation:

The Supreme Court case of Reynolds v. United States (1879) was centered around Reynolds practicing of polygamy (something he argued was protected by his right to religious freedom as a Mormon). The Supreme Court ruled such practice was in violation of criminal law and thus not protected by the right to freedom of religion.

Example Question #3 : Role Of Courts In Civil Rights

The Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education overturned which previous court ruling?

Possible Answers:

Gibbons v. Ogden

Gideon v. Wainwright

New York Times v. Sullivan

Miranda v. Arizona

Plessy v. Ferguson

Correct answer:

Plessy v. Ferguson

Explanation:

The Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education (1954) overturned the previous Supreme Court ruling Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). The original case, Plessy v. Ferguson, established that black and white people could constitutionally be separated in public places if their separate circumstances were found to be equal (“separate but equal”). Brown v. Board of Education overturned this ruling, finding that separate was inherently not equal and thus in violation of the Constitution. Specifically, Brown v. Board of Education determined that white and black students could not be forced to attend separate schools.

Example Question #4 : Role Of Courts In Civil Rights

Which Supreme Court case declared that school segregation was illegal?

Possible Answers:

Brown vs. Board of Education

Roe vs. Wade

City of Tulsa vs. McClutchen

Scott vs. Sanford

Correct answer:

Brown vs. Board of Education

Explanation:

Brown vs. Board of Education was a 1954 Supreme Court case that dealt with the school segregation that had been the norm since Plessy vs. Ferguson declared that segregation is permitted so long as the facilities and resources are “separate but equal.” There were a variety of lawsuits filed about segregation, including one where an African American sued the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education on the basis that the schools for non-white children were not equal. The Court decided that this case would be the primary one for school segregation and unanimously ruled that school segregation based on race is illegal under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. While this ruling did not immediately integrate schools, it was used as the basis for getting rid of segregation and is regarded as one of, if not the, most important rulings of the century.

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