Latinos and American Law: Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Latinos and American Law: Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Latinos and American Law: Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Latinos and American Law: Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Synopsis

To achieve justice and equal protection under the law, Latinos have turned to the U. S. court system to assert and defend their rights. Some of these cases have reached the United States Supreme Court, whose rulings over more than a century have both expanded and restricted the legal rights of Latinos, creating a complex terrain of power relations between the U. S. government and the country's now-largest ethnic minority. To map this legal landscape, Latinos and American Law examines fourteen landmark Supreme Court cases that have significantly affected Latino rights, from Botiller v. Dominguez in 1889 to Alexander v. Sandoval in 2001. Carlos Soltero organizes his study chronologically, looking at one or more decisions handed down by the Fuller Court (1888-1910), the Taft Court (1921-1930), the Warren Court (1953-1969), the Burger Court (1969-1986), and the Rehnquist Court (1986-2005). For each case, he opens with historical and legal background on the issues involved and then thoroughly discusses the opinion(s) rendered by the justices. He also offers an analysis of each decision's significance, as well as subsequent developments that have affected its impact. Through these case studies, Soltero demonstrates that in dealing with Latinos over issues such as education, the administration of criminal justice, voting rights, employment, and immigration, the Supreme Court has more often mirrored, rather than led, the attitudes and politics of the larger U. S. society.

Excerpt

Latinos and American Law discusses the historical significance of some landmark cases of the country's highest court involving Latinos/Hispanics. Of interest are not only the rulings themselves, but also the interaction between Latino/Hispanic individuals and communities in the United States and the American legal system. Through areas such as education, the administration of criminal justice, voting rights, employment, and immigration, those legally trained as well as non-lawyer readers will gain a greater appreciation of the subtle complexities of the issues facing Latinos and their interactions with the American legal system. Relatively few books have addressed how the legal system has impacted Hispanics, although in recent years the topic has received greater attention, and law review articles and other academic disciplines have more developed studies of Latinos.

The Supreme Court considers only a small number of cases appealed to the Court. These are a fraction of all cases filed in federal and state courts throughout the United States. Obviously missing from this discussion are tens of thousands of cases involving Latinos in the American legal system, the vast majority of which, while directly affecting lives, are decided by state courts, lower federal courts, or other courts. While these include cases generally unknown to the vast majority of Americans or people in law schools, some are very well known, such as Gonzalez v. Reno (11th Cir. 2000). Instead, this book is confined to legal dramas played out at the summit of the American legal system. Focusing on the Supreme Court makes sense because the Supreme Court is a unique institution in the United States, with a unique role in American history and the legal system. The names of landmark Supreme Court cases such as Scott v. Sandford (1856) (aka the Dred Scott case), Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Miranda v. Arizona (1966), and Roe v. Wade (1973) . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.