Paper Example on Brown vs. Board of Education: Advancing Civil Rights in America

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1236 Words
Date:  2022-12-29


Looking at the overall significance of this landmark case in the Supreme Court, the American society was becoming more socially conscious since this case was relatable to a previous case ruled in 1896, the Plessy vs. Ferguson case that had legalized the establishment of racially segregated facilities that would keep the blacks away from the whites. The ruling in the Brown vs. Board of Education case was thus able to show an advance of the constitution from the Jim Crow laws that promoted racism to a more accommodative society that placed value on equality and acceptance. Additionally, this case brought a different interpretation to the 13th and 14th Amendments that forbade slavery and provided citizenship to African Americans who were remnants of slavery. Since the lower courts uphold the rulings made in the Supreme Court, it is thus accurate to conclude that this particular case helped to adjust the judicial system for people of color who would later come to seek justice for facing any form of discrimination.

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Hudson v. McMillan

The Supreme Court has helped redefine the treatment of prisoners and helped enhance freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. Another landmark case that was vital in protecting a group of people whose civil rights had been abused was the case Hudson vs. McMillian of 1992. This case was used to contest the freedom from torture after correctional officers cruelly beat up a prisoner and claimed that this infliction of pain was a necessary punishment for the criminal. This case brought into focus the 8th Amendment that banned cruel and unusual punishment in various contexts, including the prison context that defined this case. The review of this case by the Supreme Court provided a new development on the treatment of prisoners since the judicial system was taking a step towards reducing the rigidity of the laws that concerned the welfare of prisoners. The ruling of the case was a sign of hope for prisoners since the court also abandoned the need for prisoners to prove that the injuries afflicted on them were in violated the constitution. Instead, the defendants were required to explain the action that had warranted the use of excessive force, and whether the extent of the injury was necessary. This case changed the interpretation of the 8th amendment since according to judges of the Supreme Court, it failed to find meaning in a society that was continuously evolving and progressing.

This case shows the role of the Supreme Court to protect the rights of different individuals regardless of their societal status. Also, it helped to define some of the functions of the government including the protection of inmates from harm and the provision of care. By providing invalidation to an initial ruling in the Robinson v. California case, the Court also showed that it had the overall power to adjust the judicial system to ensure that all citizens of America received fair and just hearing and rulings. The Court defined other unconstitutional acts that this Act had not specified and in doing this, protected incarcerated individuals.

Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court has helped to reshape social issues, and especially those that pertain to women such as the use of birth control, abortion and suffrage rights. By taking on cases that relate to the needs of women, the Supreme Court has helped to redefine social constructs that mainly favored the men. The Roe v. Wade case of 1973 allowed the Supreme Court to disregard unconstitutional laws that declared abortion illegal, by stating that women were at liberty to procure abortions at any time between the time of conception and three months. According to the Supreme Court, this decision was to be left to the woman and her doctor, since the constitution failed to provide the limits within which this law could be practiced.

This case was one of the many cases that women had contested in the 1960s as they sought to have freedom of choice be made applicable to both genders rather than to one gender. The ruling brought to light the social needs of women and even made visible the fact that the judicial system did not discriminate against women but was seeking to make the American society more conducive for them. Rather than show protection for abortion, the court showed protection for the rights of women, especially since the constitution failed to acknowledge most of these rights. This case helped to define the right to privacy for women, and is regarded as a historical change in viewpoint for the reproductive rights of women. This case helped to raise social awareness of the plights of women and also paved room for other cases to contest the laws on abortion. Subsequent laws on abortion allowed the Supreme Court to state the importance of enabling women to take charge of their reproductive lives as a way of managing their contributions to the social and economic aspects of American society.

Bush v. Gore

When looking at how the Supreme Court has helped to shape American culture, its role in politics is profound, mainly due to its involvement in settling various political disputes arising in Congress. Additionally, the role of the Supreme Court as a judicial institution is intertwined with its political task of distributing power and other legislative resources among American citizens. However, to this extent, the Supreme Court has adopted various strategies to separate its judicial aloofness from its political involvement to ensure that it ensures that it exercises positive powers. In the case of Bush vs. Gore of 2000, the Supreme Court ordered for the recounting of votes in Florida after the 2000 elections revealed a recount dispute. The Supreme Court ordered a recount of the votes to determine the actual winner, based on the fact that failure to determine a winner would be a violation of the civil rights of the citizens involved in the process.

This case provided the Supreme Court with an opportunity to be involved in the political process of the United States. Through this case, the Supreme Court highlighted the importance of the involvement of all citizens in the voting process, citing the need to observe the right to have all votes equally counted.

Role of the Supreme Court

Having discussed how the Supreme Court of the United States has helped to shape the American Society, it is easy to establish its overall roles as a judicial, social and political institution. As a judicial body, the Supreme Court is responsible for upholding the rights and freedoms of citizens to ensure fair hearings for appealed cases. As seen from the landmark cases, the Supreme Court has the power to invalidate rulings done by other courts that strictly observe the Constitutional laws with no regard for exemptions.

Similarly, the Supreme Court is responsible for interpreting the Constitution and updating the interpretations of the various acts of law to ensure that they are at par with the changing society. Discussions by legal scholars show that the Supreme Court provides constitutional guidance to suit the legal needs of the people at particular times and ensure that the liberties of these individuals are communicated accurately in the constitution. By transcending across various spectra of American society, the Supreme Court can define the limits of different laws of the constitution, such as when the freedom of speech is to be limited.

Another role of the Supreme Court is to define the role of other institutions tas...

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