Creating New Precedents

A thought that came up while reading about civil rights cases for racial justice as well as gender equality: Counterintuitively, many landmark cases are brought by the historically advantaged portion of the population. Why is this the case?

  • Plessy v. Ferguson was brought by a man who looked completely white (and was only black legally)
  • Craig v. Boren, (which was brought about the fact that women could buy beer at 18, and men had to wait until 21), was a landmark gender equality case argued by RBG

It seems as though sometimes the advantaged part of the population needs to believe that they lose out as a result of unequal treatment for the laws to change, it isn’t enough for the historical “minority” to be hurting.

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