The Supreme Court and the Re-Invention of Differences in Post-Civil Rights America
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
December, 15 2011
NCOBPS 43rd Meeting Paper
This paper argues the Supreme Court is a major player in America's re-invention of racial differences. The Court often provides the constitutional and legal justification for either the rise of new and/or demise of older forms of differences. Each re-creation is more subtly connected to race. This more subtly connection to race does not mean the elimination of racial differences, but rather changes in the rules that govern the perception and use of differences. Every generation participates in determining the principles, meaning, and dimensions of racial differences. The decisions of the Supreme Court both reflect and influence the nation's formulation and implementation of the rights of blacks or their status. Such influences are evident from slavery to post-Civil Rights America. Changes in differences are sequential. In the Slaughter-house Case, the Court made significant contribution to how the nation would give meaning to black enslavement and constitutional amendments and federal law enacted after slavery. Another example is Brown I. Brown I constructed the meaning of differences and provided constitutional recognition for the legitimacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Post-Civil Rights America is fertile ground for this kind of study.
working papers series
Date posted: December 15, 2011
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