Court and Bill of Rights

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 The 19th amendment was proposed so that women would be able to have a say in their government, it gave women the right to vote. In the 1800's during the reconstruction era, or the time after the Civil war when the South was being reconstructed, the 15th amendment was added to the constitution. It gave African American men the right to vote. At the time Congress had failed to also give this right to women. So many women fought hard for their rights and eventually their work paid off. The Constitution was created to guarantee freedom and equality for all people. Now both men and women can vote creating more equality for the people.

The Women's suffrage, or right to vote, movement was founded by women who had become politically active because of their work in the abolitionist and temperance movements. It was founded in the mid-19th century. In July of 1848, 240 women suffragists got together at Seneca Falls, New York, to assert women's right to vote. During that time, giving women the right to vote was opposed by most Americans. The National Woman Suffrage Association was founded in 1849 and led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It was formed to push for an amendment to be added to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote. The American Woman Suffrage Association was another organization that was founded in the same year. It was led by Lucy Stone and was organized to work through the state legislatures. Both organizations joined together in 1890 to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

In that same year, Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote. By 1900, more women had jobs, were receiving a better education, and were having less children. Several states had granted women the right to vote. In 1913, an organization called the National Women's party organized the voting power of the women who could vote to vote for representatives who supported women's suffrage. By 1916, both the Democratic and Republican parties supported women's right to vote. In 1919, the 19th amendment was passed by both houses of Congress and was sent to the states for ratification. In 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, giving it ?…” majority of state ratification and making it necessary to be a law of the land. Eight days later, the law took effect and women now had the right to vote.

19th amendment Impact on Americans

The 19th amendment has greatly impacted the lives of women today. Since the amendment was passed, women have made great progress and have greatly advanced, holding positions of power as well as running for office. The 19th amendment has brought lots of success and responsibility for women today. It has brought economic progress for women because more women receive a higher education and enter professional jobs. It has helped millions of women move closer to equality. Women voted and eventually ran for office to improve government and their individual lives. With this power, these women could help gain more rights for all women. The 19th amendment greatly impacted the lives of millions of women. Since 1920, women have gained more rights, equality, education, power, and responsibility.

Plyler v. Doe- Past Supreme Court Case

In 1975, the Texas Legislature allowed local school districts to turn down enrollment in public schools of foreign-born children that were not legally admitted. The Tyler Independent School District started requiring foreign-born children that were not legally admitted to the United States to pay tuition two years later. The school district considered a child to be legally admitted if either they had documentation stating that they were legally present in the U.S. or if federal immigration authorities confirmed that they were in the process of obtaining these documents. After this policy was created, a group of students from Mexico who could not show that they were legally admitted to the U.S. brought a class action lawsuit to court that challenged this policy.

After looking into the facts, the district court decided that this policy violated the Constitution and was also overruled by federal immigration law. A federal appeals court also agreed with ending the policy because it violated the Constitution. The school district was unhappy about these decisions made by the district and federal appeals court so they requested that the Supreme Court review the case.

The US Supreme court voted in favor of the students. The court based its ruling on the fourteenth amendment which states that no state can take away equal protection of the law from any person. The court stated that if a state provides free public education to U.S. citizens and also lawfully presents foreign-born children, then they cannot deny education to undocumented children unless they can show that it helps a substantial goal of the state, in which they could not. Another reason for why the court decided that undocumented children should have have the right to the education is that taking away that right can cause harm to children that did not choose to be in the status they are in. Taking away education can harm an individual socially, economically, intellectually, and psychologically. For all of these reasons, the vote was 5-4 and they decided to take down the law in Texas that allowed school districts to deny schooling for foreign-born, undocumented children.

This decision impacted the many lives that gained the right to education because of it. If the law had stayed, many individuals would suffer socially, economically, intellectually, and psychologically. Instead, they were allowed to be educated and lived more successful lives than they would have if they hadn't been educated. Plyler v. Doe definitely helped give undocumented the right to public education, however Latino and immigrant children today still face still face some barriers to education today. Ignacia Rodriguez was undocumented for 19 years and states that, As someone who was undocumented for 19 years and who benefited greatly from a public education, I've benefited tremendously from the decision in Plyler. The Plyler decision has benefited many undocumented children by allowing them free public education.

Madison v. Alabama- Current Supreme Court Case

Madison v. Alabama was granted on February 26th, 2018, argued on October 2nd, 2018, and the decision has not been decided yet. The case will decide whether or not to prohibit the execution of a prisoner who's mental ability has caused them to lose their memory of the crime they committed. Vernon Madison has been in prison for over thirty years and has suffered through a number of strokes, and some brain damage. This has resulted in being unable to remember the crime he committed that would lead to his execution. The brain damage has resulted in slurred speech, blindness, inability to walk on his own, and urinary incontinence.

Madison's execution was originally scheduled to be in May, 2016, so he went to the state court asking for them to challenge his competency of being executed. They denied his claim so he brought it to federal court. They decided that he was incompetent to be executed. In November 2017 the Supreme court decided in the Dunn v. Madison case that Madison should be executed. His execution was rescheduled to take place in January 2018. He again petitioned the state court for release, this time with new evidence that the court's evidence was suspended from the practice of psychology. Once again, the court disagreed with his petition and he was found qualified to be executed. After this, Madison asked the US Supreme Court to consider how the rights of the Constitution help his claim.

This court case has not yet been decided. If the majority of the votes vote for Madison's side, it will impact all of the lives who have committed crime and who cannot remember committing it due to their mental health. This decision would be fair because with no memory of committing the crime, Madison and all other people in his situation do not deserve to be executed. It goes with the eighth amendment of the Constitution that bans all cruel and unusual punishment. It is cruel and unusual to execute someone who has no recollection of the past and the crime they once committed due to their mental state. If the Supreme Court decides that Madison is competent to be executed, this could cause some issues as some could argue that it violates the eighth amendment. This decision made by the US Supreme Court will impact the lives of those who have suffered from loss of memory due to their mental state from being in jail. With no recollection of the crime they committed, they will not know what it is they are being punished for and that is cruel and unusual punishment. The decision will determine the difference between life and death for Madison and others in his position.

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Court And Bill Of Rights. (2019, Dec 04). Retrieved December 4, 2023 , from

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