The Civil Rights History Research Paper Coursework (Research Paper Sample)
Research the "Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media" case on Oyez, and answer the eight questions posted on the first page of the attachment. Follow the rubric for full credits. In addition, please complete the chart on page 3-5. One of the source for this case is on page 8-9, please search for additional sources to complete the requirements stated above.
Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman Civil Rights Fishbowl Discussion Unit 6: Judiciary, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights | Summative Assessment (40 points) Directions: Collaborate with your group to complete the steps below in preparation for the Fishbowl Discussion on Monday 1/13. 1. Read and annotate your assigned pending Supreme Court case and your current event article(s) to complete the Notetaking Guide. Note: This 2-page document is the only thing you will be able to bring with you to the Fishbowl Discussion. 2. Conduct any other independent research on other court cases or laws that are related to your pending Supreme Court Case. You and your group must be prepared to discuss the questions below using specific evidence from your sources and research. To what extent do the institutions of American government establish and uphold justice today? Sub-Questions 1. What constitutional question(s) is the SCOTUS considering? 2. How does this case fit into the dual court system? 3. Is it appropriate for the SCOTUS to hear and decide this case? How could judicial activism and judicial restraint be exercised? 4. To what extent do other court precedents connect to this case? 5. What state or federal laws connect to this case? 6. How might other branches of government respond to a SCOTUS decision on this case? 7. How do you believe this case should be decided in order to uphold justice? . 1 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman Group Information Category Pending SCOTUS Case Students 1. Sex R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Christian, Isabella, Auggie, Lexi, Carlos, Sydney, Braden, Ashley 2. Race Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media Will, Annika, Iggy, Ava, David, Erika, John, Eadaoin 3. Sexual Orientation Bostock v. Clayton County Marcelo, Chloe, Joe, Noemy, Daniel, Sacnicte, Richard, Rebecca You will be graded according to the rubric below. 2 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman Notetaking Guide Unit 6: Judiciary, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights Directions: Collaborate with your group to complete this Notetaking Guide to support your discussion. This 2-page document must be submitted on Schoology and printed for your use on Monday 1/13. Assigned Pending Supreme Court Case Date Argued Constitutional Question (amendment) Background of Case Related Court Precedents and State/Federal Laws One-Sentence Summary: Why does this case matter? Key Takeaways from Current Event Article 3 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman Other Notes (feel free to format and complete at your discretion) 4 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman 1. Sex: R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Oyez Overview (here) Facts of the case Aimee Stephens worked as a funeral director at R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., which is a closely held for-profit corporation that operates several funeral homes in Michigan. For most of her employment at the Funeral Home, Stephens lived and presented as a man. Shortly after she informed the Funeral Home’s owner and operator that she intended to transition from male to female, she was terminated. Stephens filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that she had been terminated based on unlawful sex discrimination. After conducting an investigation, the EEOC brought a lawsuit against the Funeral Home charging that it had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by terminating Stephen’s employment on the basis of her transgender or transitioning status and her refusal to conform to sex-based stereotypes. The district court granted summary judgment to the Funeral Home, and a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed, holding that the Funeral Home’s termination of Stephens based on her transgender status constituted sex discrimination in violation of Title VII. Question Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit discrimination against transgender employees based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989)? “I was fired for being transgender. The Supreme Court should make sure it doesn’t happen again.” Washington Post | June 25, 2019 Aimee Stephens is the plaintiff in “R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC,” a case before the Supreme Court. “With the support of my loving wife, I have decided to become the person that my mind already is. I cannot begin to describe the shame and suffering that I have lived with . . . at the end of my vacation on August 26, 2013, I will return to work as my true self, Aimee Australia Stephens, in appropriate business attire.” That was the letter I gave to my boss and co-workers at R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes. For me, it’s the reason I lost my job. But for other transgender people around 5 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman the country, it is the basis of a landmark case that will be argued at the Supreme Court next term that could finally recognize that federal law protects us from discrimination in the workplace. No one should face discrimination because of who they are. As difficult as being fired was for me and my family, that’s not why I decided to go to court. My case is about so much more than me — or even transgender people. It’s about anyone who has ever been told they are not enough of a man or not the right kind of a woman. It’s about anyone who has ever experienced sex discrimination. It’s about making sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else. I worked in funeral services for nearly three decades. For me, it was a calling. I liked being able to help people and providing comfort to those who lost a loved one. Before I was fired, I felt valued at my job, not only because I got positive performance reviews but also because my co-workers trusted me to be funeral director for their own family members. One of the first people I told that I’m a woman was a co-worker at the funeral home. She saw me wear woman’s clothing for Halloween one year and saw how comfortable I felt. After I shared my true self with her, I slowly began to do the same with other co-workers, who, like my family, accepted me for who I am. For this and for their friendship, I am very thankful. Eventually, I made the decision to tell my boss. I suspected he would not accept me, so I worked through several drafts of my letter with my closest co-workers. After about 10 months, I was ready to present it. One day, I met my boss in the chapel of the funeral home, sat him down and gave him the letter. My fears were correct. Instead of supporting me, he fired me and offered a severance package if I walked away without taking legal action. I went home, talked to my wife, Donna, and decided I couldn’t lie about who I am or remain silent about what happened to me. Instead of taking the severance, I contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and filed a complaint. Donna and I knew this would hurt our ability to pay bills, so we sold our truck and other belongings. I struggled to pay for my weekly dialysis treatments and other health-care expenses. Even so, I am happier as my true self. If I had to do it all again, I would. I had given almost six years of my life and expertise to the funeral home and worked with countless families in a time of grief. But the moment I said I needed to be authentic to who I am, my boss told me “We don't need you.” That was hard to understand. Moreover, it was wrong. 6 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman I continue to fight because I know so many transgender people face similar discrimination at work. They are fired from their jobs and denied promotions simply because of who they are. They are called names by co-workers, forced into unsafe restrooms and denied health insurance for necessary medical care. This is discrimination. At the end of my letter, I told my co-workers that “life is an adventure, and I would like to believe that the best is yet to come.” I add to that now: I would like to believe that the United States — and the Supreme Court — will see that transgender people should be able to live free from discrimination in the workplace and beyond. 7 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman 2. Race: Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media Oyez Overview (here) Facts of the case Entertainment Studios Network (ESN), owned by African American actor and comedian Byron Allen, and the National Association of African American-Owned Media, an entity created by Allen, sued Comcast over the latter’s decision not to carry ESN’s channels. ESN alleged that Comcast’s decision not to carry ESN’s networks was based, at least in part, on racial animus against ESN, which is the only 100% African American-owned multi-channel media company in the United States. At the time of Comcast’s decision, several other large distributors— including Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, and AT&T—had also declined to enter into carriage agreements with ESN. The district court dismissed ESN’s original complaint and several subsequent amended complaints against Comcast and other defendants for failure to plead facts that state a plausible claim for relief. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit held in a related case involving Charter Communications that “mixed-motive claims are cognizable under § 1981,” meaning that “even if racial animus was not the but-for cause of a defendant’s refusal to contract, a plaintiff can still prevail if she demonstrates that discriminatory intent was a factor in that decision.” Applying this standard, the Ninth Circuit concluded that ESN had stated a valid Section 1981 claim based on its assertions that the carriers had entered into contracts with “white-owned, lesser-known networks during the same period.” The Ninth Circuit declined petitions for rehearing en banc. Question Does a claim of race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 require that the plaintiff show but-for causation, or only that race is a motivating factor? “Byron Allen’s Racial Discrimination Lawsuits Against Comcast and Charter to Proceed” Variety | November 19, 2018 Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios scored legal victories on Monday as a federal appellate court ruled that his racial discrimination lawsuits against Comcast and Charter Communications will proceed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, Calif., overturned a lower court’s decision to dismiss Allen’s claim against Comcast. The same three-judge panel also affirmed a lower court’s decision to deny Charter’s motion to dismiss Allen’s suit. 8 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman The rulings state that Allen has made a plausible case for racial discrimination being a factor in the separate decisions by Comcast and Charter to not carry any of Entertainment Studios’ suite of cable channels. Allen filed suit against Comcast in 2015 and against Charter in early 2016. Allen’s suits are rooted in a post-Civil War law designed to help protect newly freed slaves from discrimination in pursuing business deals and contracts. Monday’s rulings do not address the merits of Entertainment Studios’ claims against the cable giants, only that there are enough plausible allegations in the suits to allow the litigation to continue through the courts. The appellate panel also ruled that the First Amendment claims exerted by Comcast and Charter as protecting their programming decisions were not sufficient to dismiss the cases outright. Allen maintains that racial bias is a factor in Comcast and Charter’s longstanding decisions to not carry any of his entertainment and lifestyle channels. Allen filed a similar suit against AT&T that was settled in late 2015 when AT&T’s DirecTV picked up seven Entertainment Studios channels. “Plaintiffs’ allegations regarding Charter’s treatment of Entertainment Studios, and its differing treatment of white-owned companies, are sufficient to state a viable claim,” Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. wrote in the Charter opinion. Comcast and Charter were critical of the decisions. “We respectfully disagree with the Court’s decision, and are reviewing the decision and considering our options,” Comcast said in a statement. Charter had a more forceful response. “This lawsuit is a desperate tactic that this programmer has used before with other distributors,” Charter said. “We are disappointed with today’s decision and will vigorously defend against these claims.” Allen, who is founder, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios, hailed the rulings as “unprecedented and historic.” “The lack of true economic inclusion for African-Americans will end with me, and these rulings show that I am unwavering in my commitment to achieving this long overdue goal,” Allen said. 9 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman 3. Sexual Orientation: Bostock v. Clayton County Oyez Overview (here) Facts of the case Gerald Bostock, a gay man, began working for Clayton County, Georgia, as a child welfare services coordinator in 2003. During his ten-year career with Clayton County, Bostock received positive performance evaluations and numerous accolades. In 2013, Bostock began participating in a gay recreational softball league. Shortly thereafter, Bostock received criticism for his participation in the league and for his sexual orientation and identity generally. During a meeting in which Bostock’s supervisor was present, at least one individual openly made disparaging remarks about Bostock’s sexual orientation and his participation in the gay softball league. Around the same time, Clayton County informed Bostock that it would be conducting an internal audit of the program funds he managed. Shortly afterwards, Clayton County terminated Bostock allegedly for “conduct unbecoming of its employees.” Within months of his termination, Bostock filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Three years later, in 2016, he filed a pro se lawsuit against the county alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The district court dismissed his lawsuit for failure to state a claim, finding that Bostock’s claim relied on an interpretation of Title VII as prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, contrary to a 1979 decision holding otherwise, the continued which was recently affirmed in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, 850 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir. 2017). Bostock appealed, and the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the lower court. In addition to noting procedural deficiencies in Bostock’s appeal, the Eleventh Circuit panel pointed out that it cannot overrule a prior panel’s holding in the absence of an intervening Supreme Court or Eleventh Circuit en banc decision. This case is consolidated for oral argument with Altitude Express v. Zarda, No. 17-1623. Question Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits against employment discrimination “because of . . . sex” encompass discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation? 10 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman LGBT workers head to Supreme Court for blockbuster discrimination cases: ‘I’ll be that person to stand up’ CNBC | October 7, 2019 Gerald Bostock was devastated when he learned he had been fired from his job overseeing child welfare services for the Clayton County, Georgia juvenile court system. The role, he says now, was his dream job. He believed working with children was his calling, and that he was good at it. In 2010, his county became the first in Atlanta to supply a volunteer to every neglected or abused child in the system. Bostock believes he was fired for being gay. His termination came in 2013, months after he joined a gay softball league, after a history positive performance reviews. When he lost his job, he also lost friends, his home and his health insurance, he said. Now Bostock’s firing is at the center of a blockbuster set of Supreme Court cases that will determine whether LGBT workers may be fired on the basis of their identities. Arguments are set for Tuesday morning. “Somebody needed to stand up,” Bostock said in a recent interview. “I’ll be that person to stand up so that nobody has to go to work fearful of losing their job.” The Supreme Court cases are the first to squarely address the question of whether federal anti-discrimination law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers. While the court has expanded the rights of LGBT individuals in recent years, holding that same-sex marriage is protected by the Constitution, for instance, it has yet to apply protections to the workplace. In about half the country, states and localities have passed laws forbidding such discrimination. In the other half, including Clayton County, workers are without protection. “In an era where people want to believe that gay marriage solved everything, this shows that it clearly didn’t. There are many battles left,” said Brian Riedel, a professor at Rice University who studies LGBT social movements. The justices will hear the cases of three LGBT workers who were fired, including Bostock. The other two individuals are Donald Zarda, a gay man who was fired from his job as a skydiving instructor after remarking on his sexual orientation to a female client, and Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman fired from her job as a funeral director after she announced her intention to present as a woman. Ahead of arguments, it is not clear how the justices may come down on the issue. The case is the first major LGBT case to come before the justices since the departure of 11 of 12 | 2019 Honors Civics 500 | D. Silkman Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had long been a champion for gay rights from the court. In focus will be Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Kennedy’s replacement, who is believed to be more conservative. “I think that it is actually a case that is pretty hard to predict,” said David Cole, the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Zarda and Stephens. Asked which justices he is hoping to corral into a majority, Cole said: “I’ll take any five.” The decisions in the cases are expected by the end of June, in the middle of the 2020 presidential election. 12 of 12 | 2019source..
Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media
Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media
To what extent do the institutions of American government establish and uphold justice today?
Recent cases presented to the court have put the American government on the spotlight regarding how it establishes and upholds justice today. There are mixed feelings on the ability of the judicial system to ensure justice, especially in sensitive matters such as regarding racism, sex and sexual harassment, and violation of human rights such as mistreatment of blacks. However, although Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media is still pending, it shows the determination and commitment of the government to ensure adherence to the rule of law and justice. However, the delay in hearing the case is considered a sign of the government’s reluctance to ensure justice to the people.
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