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Level 16

Civil Rights

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affirmative action
The requirement, imposed by law or administrative regulation, that an organization (business firm, government agency, labor union, school, or college) take positive steps to increase the number or proportion of women, blacks, or other minorities in its membership.
equality of opportunity
A view that it is wrong to use race or sex either to discriminate against or give preferential treatment to blacks or women.
police powers
The authority of a government to safeguard and promote public order, safety, and morals.
reverse discrimination
Using race or sex to give preferential treatment to certain people.
separate-but-equal doctrine
The doctrine, established in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), in which the Supreme Court ruled that a state could provide “separate but equal” facilities for blacks.
strict scrutiny
The standard by which the Supreme Court judges classifications based on race. To be accepted, such a classification must be closely related to a “compelling” public purpose.
suspect classification
Classifications of people on the basis of their race and ethnicity. The courts have ruled that laws classifying people on these grounds will be subject to “strict scrutiny.”