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Race Discrimination: U.S. Supreme Court Cases

The United States has a lengthy history of racial discrimination in various aspects of life including education, employment, housing, public accommodations and other areas; the Supreme Court has dealt with the issue in numerous cases. Below is a list of U.S. Supreme Court cases involving race discrimination and the rights of members of racial groups, including links to the full text of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

  • Korematsu v. U.S. (1944) The Court in this case upheld the conviction of an American of Japanese descent, who had been prosecuted for remaining in California after a 1942 presidential order designating much of the west coast a "military area", and requiring relocation of most Japanese-Americans from California (among other west coast states)
  • Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) This decision held that "racially restrictive covenants" in property deeds are unenforceable. In this case, the "covenants" were terms or obligations in property deeds that limited property rights to Caucasians, excluding members of other races.
  • Bailey v. Patterson (1962) The Court in this case prohibited racial segregation of interstate and intrastate transportation facilities.
  • Loving v. Virginia (1967) This decision holds that state laws prohibiting inter-racial marriage are unconstitutional.
  • Jones v. Mayer Co. (1968) The Court held in this case that federal law bars all racial discrimination (private or public), in sale or rental of property.
  • Lau v. Nichols (1973) The Court found that a city school system's failure to provide English language instruction to students of Chinese ancestry amounted to unlawful discrimination.
  • Batson v. Kentucky (1986) This decision holds that a state denies an African American defendant equal protection when it puts him on trial before a jury from which members of his race have been purposefully excluded.
  • Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) In this case, the Court finds that a law school's limited "affirmative action" use of race in admissions is constitutional.

Meet with an Attorney about your Discrimination Claim

Have you been discriminated against based on your race? Whether it is discrimination in education, on the job, or housing, or in a place of public accommodation, the laws are complex and best handled by a legal professional. Find an experienced attorney who knows about discrimination issues near you to help determine whether you have a valid discrimination claim.

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