Throughout the history of the United States, Supreme Court decisions have addressed the constitutional rights of individuals and groups. These decisions have limited as well as expanded the rights of the members of these groups. Cases such as Korematsu v. United States and Roe v. Wade are examples of the limitation and expansion of rights.
The historical circumstances surrounding the case of Korematsu v. U.S. are as follows. In the 1940’s there was a strong anti-Japanese feeling throughout all of America. There was an act passed requiring all people of Japanese heritage to relocate from restricted areas. This is because of World War II and intense hatred towards the Japanese after the attack at Pearl Harbor. Korematsu was arrested and he brought it to the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of order #9066 and #34 which are the reasons he was arrested. The Supreme Court’s decision on the case was that because of the circumstances of world war the president and congress had the right to violate his constitutional rights. The court decided that an entire race could be considered a “suspect class”. The Supreme Court severely limited the rights of Japanese-American individuals at this time. They forced thousands of Japanese people to relocate to relocation centers under very poor circumstances. This limited their rights to the point where many died and committed suicide during their stay in these camps.
The historical circumstances surrounding the case of Roe vs. Wade are as follows. A woman in Texas sought to have an abortion and terminate her pregnancy. However, Texas law made it illegal to have such things done as abortion. Mrs. Roe challenged the law in the Supreme Court claiming it violated her own freedoms and liberties. The Supreme Court’s decision on the case was that states could only slightly regulate a woman’s right to an abortion. The court divided a woman’s pregnancy into 3 trimesters. States could only regulate abortions after the...
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