April 9, 1866 - The Civil Rights Act of 1866 grants all native-born Americans citizenship, but not the right to vote.
1869 - Tennessee regains majority white state legislature.
February 26, 1869 - Congress passes 15th Amendment, granting African American men the right to vote.
February 3, 1870 - 15th Amendment is ratified, granting freed slaves and other African Americans the ability to vote.
1871 - 5 African American congressmen.
More Southern states regain white majority control of state legislature.
1880s - Peak of African American congressional representatives.
Florida legislature adopts disfranchising provisions. Result is a decrease in African American male voter turnout from 62% to 11% over next four years. Examples inclde: poll tax and an "eight box law"
Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Virginia begin holding statewide disfranchising conventions intended to undermine black voters.
Louisiana legislature adopts disfranchising laws, specifically the "grandfather clause". Result was decrease in African American male registered voters from 44.8% to 4% over next four years.
1896 - Plessy v. Ferguson; Supreme Court rules that racial segregation is constitutional, paves way for the repressive Jim Crow laws.
19th Amendment (passed Congress in June, 1919) ratified, giving women right to vote.
Dec 6, 1937 - Breedlove v. Suttles; Supreme Court rules to uphold GA poll taxes.
Dec 6, 1944 - Smith v. Allwright, Supreme Court rules unconsitutional for political parties in Texas to discriminate based on race.
April 1, 1946 - King v. Chapman; Federal Court rules white primary systems in GA are unconstitutional.
June 10, 1946 - Colegrove v. Green; Supreme Court permits unequal districts in Illinois. Unfairly denying equal representation in Congress. Ruling that the the way legislative districts are drawn is a political question best left to states legislatures, not justiciable.
May 17, 1954 - Brown v. Board of Education; Supreme Court rules racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.
Aug 29, 1957 - Congress passes Civil Rights Act of 1957 granting Attorney General authority to bring lawsuits on behalf of African Americans being denied the right to vote.
June 8, 1959 - Lassiter v. Northampton; Supreme Court rules literacy testing for voting in NC doesn't violate 14th or 15th Am.
May 6, 1960 - Congress passes Civil Rights Act of 1960.
March 26, 1962 - Baker v. Carr; Supreme Court rules courts can direct legislatures to redraw district boundaries in order to ensure citizens' political rights.
Aug 28, 1963 - "March on Washington"
Feb 4, 1964 - 24th Am adopted, outlaws poll taxes.
July 2, 1964 - Congress passes Civil Rights Act of 1964. Makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religions, gender in voting.
March 7th, 1965 - State troopers attacked peaceful marches crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL. Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them.
Aug 6, 1965 - Voting Rights Act of 1965 enacted.
March 7, 1966 - South Carolina v. Katzenbach; Supreme Court rules VRA is contsitutional.
1967- President Johnson appoints Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. First black Supreme Court Justice.
1968 - 9 African Americans elected to Congress.
March 3, 1969 - Allen v. State Board of Education; Supreme Court rules that Sec 5 of the VRA ought to be interpreted broadly to require preclearance for a wide range of election practices.
￼1971 - 26th Amendment passed, granting voting rights to 18-year-olds. The amendment is largely a result of Vietnam War-protests demanding a lowering of the voting age on the premise that people who are old enough to fight are old enough to vote.
1971 - 12 African Americans in Congress as of 1970, therefore create the Congressional Black Caucus.
June 30, 1975 - White v. Regester; Supreme Court ruled TX redistricting unconstitutional because dilutes minority voting strenghth.
March 30, 1976 - Beer v. USA; Supreme Court rules Sec 5 of VRA allows preclearance of election changes that are unfair to minority community as long as they are not 'retrogressive'.
April 22, 1980 - City of Mobile v. Bolden; Supreme Court rules voters must prove racially discriminatory intent to prevail with Sec. 2 litigation. Prior to this case, it was sufficient to prove a discriminatory result. "Intent only" standard is a major obstacle.
June 29, 1982 - Congress reathorizes special provisions of VRA for another 25 years. Also legislatively overturns City of Mobile v. Bolden decision, therefore proving a discriminatory result is sufficient to prevail in Sec. 2 litigation.
(Annotation) This extension also adds protection for the blind, disabled, and illiterate voter. President Reagan declares the right to vote is a "crown jewel" of American liberties.
June 30, 1986 - Thornburg v. Gingles; Supreme Court invalidates multi-member state legislative districts in NC. Court created "Gingles Factors" the test to determine if there is a violation of Sec. 2. 1) Whether "the minority group… is sufficiently large and geographically compact to constitute a majority in a single-member district;" 2) Whether "the minority group… is pholitically cohesive," i.e. tends to vote as a bloc; and 3) Whether "the majority votes sufficiently as a bloc to enable it - in the absence of special circumstances… usually to defeat the minority's preferred candidate."
June 28, 1993 - Shaw v. Reno; Supreme Court rules that a cause of action can be brought by white residents of majority black districts who contend that in drawing district lines the state preferenced race over traditional redistricting principles. Court rules that legislative districts drawn to comply with Sections 2 and 5 of the VRA cannot consider race any more than is necessary and must not be "bizarrely shaped."
June 29, 1995 - Miller v. Johnson; Supreme Court rules that race cannot be the "predominant factor" when drawing district lines. Decides GA-11 is unconstitutional because race was the "predominant" factor in drawing district lines and the state "subordinated" its traditional redistricting principle without a compelling reason.
May 12, 1997 - Reno v. Bossier Parish School Board; Supreme Court rules federal government can preclear redistricting plans created with a discriminatory purpose, as long as the purpose is not to retrogress.
So long as it doesn't weaken the ability of minority communities to elect candidates of their choice.
June 26, 2003 - Georgia v. Ashcroft; Supreme Court decides Sec. 5 allows preclearance of redistricting plans even if they diminish the minority communities' ability to elect, as long as the community is given an "influence".
April 28, 2004 - Vieth v. Jubelirer; Supreme Court rules that claims of partisan gerrymandering are nonjusticiable.
June 28, 2006 - League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry; Supreme Court ruled TX congressional redistricting plan diluted Lation voting strength and was in violation of Sec. 2 of VRA, therefore invalidated that redistricting plan.
November 4, 2008 - Barack Obama, becomes the first African American to be elected president.
March 22, 2009 - Bartlett v. Strickland; Supreme Court ruled that the ability to create a majority-minority district was a prerequisite for a vote dilution claim under Sec. 2 of the VRA.
1922 - Supreme Court rules that people of Japanese heritage are ineligible to become naturalized citizens.
1923 - Supreme Court finds that Asian Indians are also not eligible to naturalize.
June 24, 1974 - Richardson v. Ramirez; Supreme Court rules that states may deny convicted felons the right to vote.
1990 - in GA the number of black elected officials grows from 3 prior to VRA to 495.
Nov 1992 - 28 African American Congressmen, only 3 are elected from majority white districts.
1967 - The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus was founded.