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A Legal History of MississippiRace, Class, and the Struggle for Opportunity$
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Joseph A. Ranney

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496822574

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496822574.001.0001

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Moving Past the Crossroads: Law and Mississippi’s Modern Age

Moving Past the Crossroads: Law and Mississippi’s Modern Age

(p.131) Chapter Six Moving Past the Crossroads: Law and Mississippi’s Modern Age
A Legal History of Mississippi

Joseph A. Ranney

University Press of Mississippi

Mississippi’s post-World War II legal history consists of two major struggles. The first was the long legal battle between Mississippi lawmakers and federal appellate courts that accompanied the political battle to end segregation (1950-70). The end of legal segregation and voting restrictions empowered black Mississippians and created a new, three-cornered political balance between blacks, white moderates and conservatives. The rise after 1960 of “expressive individualism,” a philosophy that valued individual autonomy over shared public values, triggered the second struggle. The battle between individualists and traditionalists has been fought on many fronts in Mississippi including rights of female and gay Mississippians, abortion rights and debates over the extent to which government may support private schools. Mississippi has mostly sided with traditionalists but has not been a leader on either side.

Keywords:   Mississippi, Segregation, Voting rights, Gay rights, Abortion

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