Landmark cases are among the most well-known and influential cases in American history. The cases were argued by three of the most respected legal minds of the time, Associate Justice William Rehn, Senior Associate Justice Charles Evans Brown, and Justice Anthony Kennedy. These three men effectively argued for or against the landmark doctrines. They also wrote the majority opinion in the case.
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Most people focus on one or two landmark decisions that have impacted their lives. For example, most people recall the landmark case involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This case made history by putting into motion the first mandatory equal employment opportunity rule. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that companies with two or more employees had to hire women when needed due to the disproportionate number of men who work at the company.
Lesser-known landmark cases are those which dealt with substantive issues. For example, did you know that one of the most important decisions in history was the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the Fourteenth Amendment? This decision extended the guarantee of freedom of speech to include all Americans. The decision in Brown v. board of education of Ebony Street essentially changed the face of education in the country forever. However, few people are aware that another important landmark case happened just a few years later. This case involved eyeglasses in the workplace.
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In Loving v. Segal, the Supreme Court ruled that there is a constitutional right to be free speech. This decision gutted the Lovitt Act, a federal law that required employers to allow their white employees to be interviewed by other employees of the same race during the workplace. A divided court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, thus restoring the rights of minorities. The ruling in Loving v. Segal is often called the beginning of the civil rights movement. This is also the case that started the age of political correctness when many individuals would defend the rights of those who hate.
Two other landmark decisions also occurred around this same time. In Loving v. Segal, the court held that mandatory representation for the mentally disabled was constitutional. Also in Loving v. Watts, the court ruled that a mandatory integration plan for the City of New Orleans did not violate the equal protection and treatment clause of the 14th Amendment. These cases are commonly referred to as “trimester laws.”
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All of these cases have had huge ramifications on society. Many negative implications have resulted from these decisions. However, there have been some major successes too. For example, the ruling in Loving v. Segal has led to increased black participation in local, as well as national, politics. Also, many schools have integrated all minority students, which have increased educational equality across the country.
The decisions in these cases have helped change the definition of what it means to be gay. No longer does being homosexual require you to be closeted or afraid to be seen by members of the opposite sex. Landmark has paved the way for full participation in the gay community, without discrimination.
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What does all this mean to us? For many people, the landmark decisions from Loving v. Segal, and Loving v. Watts make their lives much more comfortable than they would have otherwise. They no longer have to live with the constant fear of being fired from their jobs, or having their homes searched or being refused service at a restaurant. While there are still laws against discrimination, the court has opened the door for some civil rights to be recognized in the workplace. This means that gay workers can now enjoy employment practices and benefits that straight workers have already been enjoying for years.
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