The Civil Rights Movement : Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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The 1960s were unmistakably some of the tensest times for race relations in American history. During these times, the Civil Rights movement was at its peak. This was an era that saw Blacks in America truly begin to demand equal rights, doing so by organizing across the country in efforts to pressure government officials to implement progressive legislation. Through a collaborative effort with Dr. Martin Luther King, President Kennedy crafted his 1961 Executive Order 10925—Establishing The President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity—which first coined the term “affirmative action” with regards to discrimination. The order focused on eradicating discrimination within government employment by creating the President’s Committee on…show more content…
Throughout this paper, it will be demonstrated that the cause of affirmative action and the legal journey that it has taken throughout the course of history in the United States is an example which illustrates cause lawyering, particularly exemplifying the framework of such as laid down by Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold. Cause lawyering, according to Sarat and Scheingold, “is frequently directed at altering some aspect of the social, economic, and political status quo.” Here, the status quo in the case of affirmative action might be considered the common interpretation of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution. One cannot effectively contextualize affirmative action without addressing the role that the fourteenth amendment has come to play. This famous Reconstruction amendment is a direct result of the American Civil War. Congress officially passed the amendment in 1868 in order to guarantee and protect the newly recognized civil rights and liberties of Blacks. The amendment granted citizenship to former slaves, while also declaring “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or protection, without due process of the law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. The Equal Protection Clause guarantees that the laws set forth in the constitution will apply to all citizens of the United States regardless of their race or ethnicity. In essence, the fourteenth amendment is thought to set the legal
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