Law: A Tool of Social Engineering

An elementary student called and asked, “what group has
helped the most regarding civil rights?” I
replied “lawyers.” In most cases social change was set in
motion by a lawsuit challenging the accepted
status quo. As litigations lead to legal victories society
began to slowly change. This exhibit features a
few of the rulings that changed the social fabric of


Childrens'sVersion of Exhibit

PDF form Download and Childern's
Activity about Rules and Laws
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Cases in Exhibit Include :

1. Marbury v. Madison -
Introduces the idea allowing the Supreme Court to have the power to decide if
actions by
Congress are legal and constitutional.

2. Dred Scott v. John Sanford
Supreme Court ruled Blacks had no right to U.S. citizenship. This included both
free people and

3. Plessy v. Ferguson
Created “separate but equal” that made segregation, separation of races in
public, legal and
supported Jim Crow laws.

4. Korematsu v. United States
Supreme Court ruled it was legal to imprison American citizens of Japanese
National security was seen as more important than the rights of citizens..

5. Brown v. Board of Education
Ruled “separate but equal” unconstitutional and illegal. T

6. Gideon v. Wainwright
In court you have a right to a lawyer even if you cannot afford.
7. Miranda v. Arizona
Ruled that you have “the right to remain silent” and must be given read your
rights and the right
to a lawyer when arrested.

8. United States v. Nixon
Supreme Court ruled the President “didn’t have absolute, unqualified privilege to
information,” as part of a case investigating the President.

9. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Allowed all organizations from nonprofits to make donation to political people and

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