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Disscussion Board

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2. In Chapter 5, "Civil Rights, Equality and Social Movements," the authors define civil rights as, "those positive rights, whether political, social, or economic, conferred by the government on individuals or groups." As such, they are rights that are conferred upon us based on legislative action (i.e., the right to marry, the right to vote, the right to drive, etc.). The Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause requires each state to not "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Thus, there is some restriction on a state when it provides civil rights, to do so in an equal manner. After reading Chapter 5 in its entirety, focus specifically on the discussion regarding, "The Women's Movement and Gender Equality." Include the following: * Provide an understanding of the Court's initial opinion as to whether the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause required states to apply the law equally, without regard to gender. Use Muller v. Oregon (1908), Goesaert v. Cleary (1948), and Hoyt v. Florida (1961). * Beginning with Reed v. Reed (1971), explain the shift in the Court's opinion with regard to the Fourteenth Amendment's application to laws that discriminated based on gender. * Understanding the difference between the formal amendment process and the informal amendment process, explain how the Court's decisions relating to gender equality, beginning in the 1970's, may have achieved results similar to the goals of the Equal Rights Amendment. * Explain whether you believe that passage of the Equal Rights Amendment would have provided additional, or different, protection from laws that discriminate based on gender.

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