Historic American Government Oppression

A comprehensive chronological list of historic U.S. Government sanctioned acts of oppression and anti-freedom.

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This chronological list is constantly being being updated.

1780s

The “three-fifths Compromise.”  Where slaves were only counted as 3/5th of a person, by Congress, for the purposes of taxes and that districts representation in congress.  Southern delegates wanted them to be counted along with white citizens when it came to calculating how many representatives their states would receive in Congress. Northerners, on the other hand, argued that slaves were property, and didn’t require representation. [1]

The Treaty of Hopewell [3] is signed in Georgia, protecting Cherokee Native Americans in the United States and sectioning off their land.  Then The Treaty of Holston is signed, in which the Cherokee give up all their land outside of the borders previously established.[2]

1790s

The Battle of Timbers [x], the last major battle over Northwest territory between Native Americans and the United States. The Treaty of Greenville, signed the following year, opened up much of present-day Ohio to white settlers.   By the terms of the treaty, the Indians also ceded parts of Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.

Prior to The Battle of Timbers, two earlier American military expeditions into the Northwest Territory by generals Josiah Harmar and Arthur St. Clair in 1790 and 1791, respectively, failed to end the unrest. In fact, St. Clair’s effort at the Battle of the Wabash concluded with an Indian victory and heavy U.S. troop losses [x].

1800s

The U.S. Congress outlawed the African slave trade in 1808 [x] and between 1774 and 1804, all of the northern states abolished slavery, but the so-called “peculiar institution” of slavery remained absolutely vital to the South.  Congress did not, purposefully outlaw the domestic slave trade of the south.

The plantation system of restrictive codes [x] that usually prohibited from learning to read and write, and their behavior and movement was restricted.  Rebellious enslaved people were brutally punished.  No laws were passed to protect them.  Marriages between enslaved men and women had no legal basis.

1810s

In 1811, U.S. forces attack Native American War Chief Tecumseh [x] and his younger brother Lalawethika. Their community at the juncture of the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers is destroyed.

In 1814, Andrew Jackson, along with U.S. forces and Native American allies attack Creek Indians who opposed American expansion and encroachment of their territory in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend [x]. The Creeks cede more than 20 million acres of land after their loss.

1820s

In 1820, a bitter debate over the federal government’s right to restrict slavery over Missouri’s application for statehood ended in a compromise: Missouri was admitted to the Union as a slave state [x], Maine as a free state and all western territories north of Missouri’s southern border were to be free soil.

1830s

The Nat Turner slave rebellion was brutally put down by State Militias [x].

The Trail of Tears, The Indian Removal Act. [x]  In 1838, the Federal government started to force the Native Americans off their land because they were a “threat to peace” and Americans wanted their fertile land. They were moved up to 800 miles from their homelands to the “Indian Territory”, which is modern-day Oklahoma. The army forced them through the cold, winter weather to their new homes. Over 4,000 Cherokees alone died, out of the 15,000 moved. They died due to disease, exposure, and starvation

1850s

The Kansas-Nebraska Act opened all new territories to slavery [x] by asserting the rule of popular sovereignty over congressional edict in the new state of Kansas.

The Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857 effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise by ruling that all territories were open to slavery.   Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) [x] People of African descent that are slaves or were slaves and subsequently freed, along with their descendants, cannot be United States citizens. Consequently, they cannot sue in federal court. Additionally, slavery cannot be prohibited in U.S. territories before they are admitted to the Union as doing so would violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. After the Civil War, this decision was voided by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

Congress passes the Indian Appropriations Act [x], creating the Indian reservation system. Native Americans aren’t allowed to leave their reservations without permission.

1860s

The Confederacy.  Seven southern states had seceded to form the Confederate States of America; four more would follow after the Civil War began [x]. the central Union war aim at first was not to abolish slavery, but to preserve the United States as a nation.  Abolition became a goal only later, due to military necessity, growing anti-slavery sentiment in the North and the self-emancipation of many people who fled enslavement as Union troops swept through the South.

On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation [x], and on January 1, 1863, he made it official that “slaves within any State, or designated part of a State…in rebellion,…shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;”  with the passage of the 13th Amendment after the Civil War’s end in 1865.

The Constitution in the 14th Amendment and the right to vote in the 15th Amendment, but these provisions of Constitution were often ignored or violated by southern states.

Sherman issued Special Field Order Number 15 [x], a temporary plan granting each freed family 40 acres of land on the islands and coastal region of Georgia.  Instead, as one of the first acts of Reconstruction, President Andrew Johnson ordered all land under federal control to be returned to its previous owners in the summer of 1865.  The Freedmen’s Bureau, created to aid millions of former slaves in the postwar era, had to inform the freedmen and women that they could either sign labor contracts with planters or be evicted from the land they had occupied [x].

In late 1865, Mississippi and South Carolina enacted the first black codes [x].  Mississippi’s law required blacks to have written evidence of employment for the coming year each January; if they left before the end of the contract, they would be forced to forfeit earlier wages and were subject to arrest.  In South Carolina, a law prohibited blacks from holding any occupation other than farmer or servant unless they paid an annual tax of $10 to $100. This provision hit free blacks already living in Charleston and former slave artisans especially hard. In both states, blacks were given heavy penalties for vagrancy, including forced plantation labor in some cases.  Former Confederate state legislatures soon passed restrictive laws denying blacks legal equality or political rights, and created “black codes” that forced former slaves to sign yearly labor contracts or be arrested and jailed for vagrancy.

In Ohio, segregationist Democrat Allen Granbery Thurman ran for governor in 1867 promising to bar black citizens from voting [x]. After he narrowly lost that political race, Thurman was appointed to the U.S. Senate, where he fought to dissolve Reconstruction-era reforms benefiting African Americans.

A group of Apache Native Americans attack and kidnap a white American, resulting in the U.S. military falsely accusing the Native American leader of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, Cochise. Cochise and the Apache increase raids on white Americans for a decade afterwards [x].

The Sandy Creek Massacre. [x]  650 Colorado volunteer forces attack Cheyenne and Arapho encampments along Sand Creek, killing and mutilating more than 150 American Indians.

1870s

In the early 1870s, the system known as sharecropping [x] had come to dominate agriculture across the cotton-planting South. Under this system, black families would rent small plots of land, or shares, to work themselves; in return, they would give a portion of their crop to the landowner at the end of the year.

The rise of racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) (born in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, as a private club for Confederate veterans) [x] where a lot of local and state government officials were members of.   local governments, as well as the national Democratic Party and President Andrew Johnson thwarted efforts to help black Americans.

Gold discovered in South Dakota’s Black Hills drives U.S. troops to ignore a treaty and invade the territory [x].

1880s

The Jim Crow laws.  [x] City dwellers demanded more laws to limit opportunities for African Americans.  Public parks were forbidden for African Americans to enter, and theaters and restaurants were segregated.  Segregated waiting rooms in bus and train stations were required, as well as water fountains, restrooms, building entrances, elevators, cemeteries, even amusement-park cashier windows.  Laws forbade African Americans from living in white neighborhoods. Segregation was enforced for public pools, phone booths, hospitals, asylums, jails and residential homes for the elderly and handicapped. [x] Some states required separate textbooks black and white students. New Orleans mandated the segregation of prostitutes according to race. In Atlanta, African Americans in court were given a different Bible from whites to swear on. Marriage and cohabitation between whites and blacks was strictly forbidden in most Southern states.

Convinced by Jim Crow laws that black and white people could not live peaceably together, formerly enslaved Isaiah Montgomery created the African American-only town of Mound Bayou, Mississippi, in 1887.  Clearing the land and forging a settlement that included several schools, an Andrew Carnegie-funded library, a hospital, three cotton gins, a bank and a sawmill. Mound Bayou still exists today, and is still almost 100 percent black.

President Grover Cleveland signs the Dawes Act, giving the president the authority to divide up land allotted to Native Americans in reservations to individuals [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886) An Illinois law that prohibits common citizens from forming personal military organizations, performing drills, and parading is constitutional because such a law does not limit the personal right to keep and bear arms.  But the goal of the law was to keep African Americans from forming militias to resist their oppression [x].

1890s

Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896The Supreme Court of America supported segregation and “separate but equal.”  Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) Segregated facilities for blacks and whites are constitutional under the doctrine of separate but equal, which holds for close to 60 years [x] (overruled by Brown v. Board of Education (1954)).

Ida B. Wells was a journalist [x]. A train conductor had kicked her out of the first-class ladies’ car after she refused to move to a segregated carriage. She sued the railroad for segregating its cars, won $500 in a local court, but the ruling the Supreme Court later overturned.

The massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890 [x].  U.S. Armed Forces surround them led by Chief Big Foot near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, demanding the surrender of their weapons.  Thousands of Native Americans were slaughtered by the Union Army. The Native Americans were led by heroes such as Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, and Crazy Horse, and they fought outnumbered for many years before being defeated by the Federal Government.

The Supreme Court ruled in Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 (1890) The Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882 does not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment even though polygamy is part of several religious beliefs [x].  Opening the door for government limitations on unharmful religious practices.

The New Orleans Lynching of Italian Americans in 1891

1900s

After the forced relocation, known as the Trail of Tears in 1838, the federal government changed their stance.  In 1902, several hundred thousand acres were cleared out for white settlements.  In 1907, the Indian nations disappeared, and when Oklahoma became a state, all Native American territory was taken by the Union [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, 187 U.S. 553 (1903) Congress may use its plenary power to unilaterally break treaty obligations between the United States and Native American tribes [x].

1910s

As lynchings increased, so did race riots, with at least 25 across the United States over several months in 1919, a period sometimes referred to as “Red Summer.” [x] In retaliation, white authorities charged black communities with conspiring to conquer white America.

Socialist Party activist Charles Schenck was arrested under the Espionage Act after he distributed fliers urging young men to dodge the draft. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction by creating the “clear and present danger” standard, explaining when the government is allowed to limit free speech [x].

American labor leader and Socialist Party activist Eugene Debs also was arrested under the Espionage Act after giving a speech in 1918 encouraging others not to join the military.  Debs argued that he was exercising his right to free speech and that the Espionage Act of 1917 was unconstitutional. In Debs v. United States the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Espionage Act [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in Mutual Film Corp. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, 236 U.S. 230 (1915) Motion pictures are not entitled to free speech protection because they are a business, not a form of art (overruled by Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson (1952)) [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in Selective Draft Law Cases, 245 U.S. 366 (1918) The Selective Service Act of 1917 and, more generally, conscription do not violate the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition of involuntary servitude or the First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of thought [x].

1920s

The Great Migration of the 1920s saw a significant migration of educated blacks out of the South, spurred on by publications like The Chicago Defender, which encouraged blacks to move north.  Read by millions of Southern blacks, whites attempted to ban the newspaper and threatened violence against any caught reading or distributing it [x].

1930s

The Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) The federal government and the states can limit access to all weapons that do not have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” [x]

1940s

Suburban developments with City and State regulations in the North and South were created with legal covenants that did not allow black families, and blacks often found it difficult or impossible to obtain mortgages for homes in certain “red-lined” neighborhoods [x].

In 1942, Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act in attempt to bring Natives into the American society. However, states like Maine, Arizona, and New Mexico would not let the Natives have a full citizenship. [x]

Japanese internment camps [x] were established during World War II by President Franklin Roosevelt through his Executive Order 9066 with the intention of preventing espionage on American shores.  It was the policy of the U.S. government that people of Japanese descent would be interred in isolated camps.  It affected the lives about 117,000 people—the majority of whom were American citizens.  Just hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the FBI rounded-up 1,291 Japanese community and religious leaders, arresting them without evidence and freezing their assets.  The FBI searched the private homes of thousands of Japanese residents on the West Coast, seizing items considered contraband.  Some politicians called for their mass incarceration. Japanese-owned fishing boats were impounded.  Lt. General John L. DeWitt believed that the civilian population needed to be taken control of to prevent a repeat of Pearl Harbor.  DeWitt prepared a report filled with known falsehoods.  His original plan included Italians and Germans, though the idea of rounding-up Americans of European descent was not as popular.  At Congressional hearings in February 1942, a majority of the testimonies, including those from California Governor Culbert L. Olson and State Attorney General Earl Warren (future Supreme Court Justice), declared that all Japanese should be removed.  Army-directed evacuations began on March 24. People had six days notice to dispose of their belongings other than what they could carry.  An elderly man attempted to flee and was shot and killed. After settling in, at least two men were shot and killed while trying to escape.  A riot broke out in the Santa Anita facility, the result of anger about insufficient rations and overcrowding. At Manzanar, California, tensions resulted in the beating of a Japanese American Citizens League member by six masked men. Fearing a riot, police tear-gassed crowds, and one man was killed by police.  At the Topaz Relocation Center, a man was shot and killed by military police for going too close to the perimeter. Two months later, a couple was shot at for the same reason.  A riot broke out at Tule Lake following an accidental death. Tear gas was dispersed, and martial law declared until agreements were reached.

In 1942, 23-year-old Fred Korematsu was arrested for refusing to relocate to a Japanese internment camp [x].  His case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where his attorneys argued in Korematsu v. United States that Executive Order 9066 violated the Fifth Amendment. He lost the case.  Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944) President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 is constitutional; therefore, American citizens of Japanese descent can be interned and deprived of their basic constitutional rights [x]. This case featured the first application of strict scrutiny to racial discrimination by the government. The decision was possibly overruled in Trump v. Hawaii (2018).

The Supreme Court ruled in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942) Fighting words—words that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace—are not protected by the First Amendment.  The infliction of injury renders almost any words or phrase that can really hurt feelings, potentially not protected speech [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948) The use of public school facilities by religious organizations to give religious instruction to school children violates the Establishment Clause.  Even though the religious people are taxed to pay for the facilities, they are not free to use them [x].

1950s

The Arrest of Rosa Parks in 1955 Jim Crow laws in Alabama were enforced by local law enforcement. [x]

Arkansas National Guard at Central High School in 1957Democrat Governor Orval Faubus sent the National Guard to block 9 black students, known as the Little Rock Nine, from entering the school. [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26 (1954) Under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause private property can be taken for a public purpose with just compensation.  But it is the government that decides what is “just compensation” [x]

The Emmett Till lynching of 1955 [x]. A 14-year old African-American boy, was murdered in August 1955 in a racist attack that shocked the nation and provided a catalyst for the emerging civil rights movement.  Despite the overwhelming evidence of the defendants’ guilt and widespread pleas for justice from outside Mississippi, on September 23 the panel of white male jurors acquitted Bryant and Milam of all charges. Their deliberations lasted a mere 67 minutes.  Only a few months later, in January 1956, Bryant and Milam admitted to committing the crime. Protected by double jeopardy laws, they told the whole story of how they kidnapped and killed Emmett Till to Look magazine for $4,000.

1960s

The Woolworth’s Lunch Four in 1960.  Four college students took a stand against segregation in Greensboro, North Carolina when they refused to leave a Woolworth’s lunch counter without being served.  The police showed up and physically removed them.  Over the next several days, hundreds of people joined their cause in what became known as the Greensboro sit-ins. After some were arrested and charged with trespassing [x].

The Freedom Riders of 1961.  seven African Americans and six whites–mounted a Greyhound bus in Washington, D.C., embarking on a bus tour of the American south to protest segregated bus terminals.  Facing violence from both police officers and white protesters, the Freedom Rides drew international attention. On Mother’s Day 1961, the bus reached Anniston, Alabama, where a mob mounted the bus and threw a bomb into it. The Freedom Riders escaped the burning bus, but were badly beaten [x].

A group of Freedom Riders reached Jackson, Mississippi. Though met with hundreds of supporters, the group was arrested for trespassing in a “whites-only” facility and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

The Selma to Montgomery March of 1965, to protest the killing of black civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson by a white police officer and to encourage legislation to enforce the 15th amendment.  As the protestors neared the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were blocked by Alabama state and local police sent by Alabama governor George C. Wallace; and were viciously beaten and teargassed by police [x].

In 1965, students at a public high school in Des Moines, Iowa, organized a silent protest against the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to protest the fighting. The students were suspended from school. The principal argued that the armbands were a distraction and could possibly lead to danger for the students.  The Supreme Court later did, however, ruled in favor of the students’ right to wear the armbands as a form of free speech in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U.S. 500 (1964) First case in which the US Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of personal restrictions on the right to travel abroad and passport restrictions as they relate to Fifth Amendment due process rights and First Amendment free speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association rights [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968) A criminal prohibition against draft-card burning does not violate the First Amendment because its effect on speech is only incidental, and it is justified by the significant governmental interest in maintaining an efficient and effective military draft system [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963) School-sponsored reading of the Bible and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in public schools is unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause.  Which has been used to prevent student lead, non school sponsored religious activities [x].

The FBI’s direct hostility against the Civil Rights Movement of 1960s [x]

1970s

The Kent State Massacre.  On May 4, 1970, of unarmed college students by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, during a mass protest against the bombing in neutral Cambodia by United States military forces. Twenty-eight National Guard soldiers fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978) Race-based set-asides in educational opportunities violate the Equal Protection Clause. This decision leaves the door open for the possibility of some use of race in admission decisions which is later used to justify discrimination against certain racial groups. [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) Laws that restrict a woman’s ability to have an abortion prior to viability are unconstitutional. Most restrictions during the first trimester are prohibited, and only health-related restrictions are permitted during the second trimester which denies and violates the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of the conceived and growing human life, the baby. [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978) Broadcasting has less First Amendment protection than other forms of communication because of its pervasive nature. The Federal Communications Commission has broad authority to determine what constitutes indecency in different contexts. [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) For a law to be considered constitutional under the Establishment Clause, the law must have a legitimate secular purpose, must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion, and must not result in an excessive entanglement of government and religion.  Which has been used to justify in the prevention of the free exercises of religion; despite the prong of “inhibiting religion”. [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) The doctrine of executive privilege is legitimate; however, the President cannot invoke it in criminal cases to withhold evidence. [x]

The Pine Ridge Reservation shooting in 1975. [x]

The Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s [x]

1980s

Gregory Lee Johnson, a youth communist, burned a flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas to protest the Reagan administration and was arrested.  The U.S. Supreme Court, in 1990, reversed a Texas court’s conviction that Johnson broke the law by desecrating the flag. Texas v. Johnson invalidated statutes in Texas and 47 other states prohibiting flag burning and that it was protected free speech in expression. [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Bethel School District v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986) The First Amendment permits a public school to punish a student for giving a lewd and indecent speech at a school assembly even if the speech is not obscene, which greatly limits free speech of students. [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987) Teaching creationism in public schools is unconstitutional.  Thus, in effect, promoted the atheistic faith and religion of secularism and secularist theories [x].

The Shannon Street Massacre in 1983. A shootout that occurred at a house on Shannon Street in Memphis, Tennessee on January 12, 1983. Police officers Ray Schwill and Bobby Hester were called to the house after which a confrontation ensued and Hester was taken hostage by men inside the house. After a 30 hour standoff, Memphis Police officers stormed the house and opened fire, killing all seven captors, after which Hester was found beaten to death. The police’s handling of the incident was controversial and led to changes in Memphis police procedure.[x]

The Singer-Swapp Standoff in 1988. A religious group led by Addam Swapp and his mother-in-law, Vickie Singer.  The group, holding up for 13 days as roughly 150 armed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents surrounded their compound. The standoff ended after a shootout on January 28, which left the Utah Department of Corrections Lieutenant, Fred House, dead. John Singer, who had been killed in a smaller altercation with law enforcement nine years earlier [x].

1990s

The Supreme Court ruled in Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña, 515 U.S. 200 (1995) Race-based discrimination, including discrimination in favor of minorities (affirmative action), must pass strict scrutiny; and if “passed” it justifies the favor of one racial group, and discrimination against another [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560 (1991) While nude dancing is a form of expressive conduct, public indecency laws regulating or prohibiting nude dancing are constitutional because they further substantial governmental interests in maintaining order and protecting morality; but who’s morality?  The government then defines “morality.” [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993) The government must show a compelling interest to pass a law that targets a religion’s ritual (as opposed to a law that happens to burden the ritual but is not directed at it). Failing to show such an interest, the prohibition of animal sacrifice is a violation of the Free Exercise Clause. But, governments always argue an urgent compelling interest to limit the religious free exercise [x].

The Supreme Court ruled in Dolan v. City of Tigard, 512 U.S. 374 (1994) A government agency may not take property in exchange for benefits that are unrelated to the agency’s interest in the property [x].

The wide spread police brutality of the 1990s [x]

The Ruby Ridge siege by the federal government in 1992.A n incident in August 1992 in which Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and U.S. marshals engaged in an 11-day standoff with separatist Randy Weaver, his family, and a friend named Kevin Harris in an isolated cabin in Boundary county, Idaho. Weaver’s wife, Vicki, his 14-year-old son, Sammy, and U.S. Marshal William Degan were killed during the siege. [x]

The Waco siege by the FBI in Texas, in 1993.  The standoff between federal agents and the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, dominated headlines for months. The siege left 75 people – including children – dead and changed the way some Americans felt about the federal government [x].

2000s

The Supreme Court ruled in Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) A narrowly tailored use of race in student admission decisions may be permissible under the Equal Protection Clause because a diverse student body is beneficial to all students; except for the students who applied, rejected, and were discriminated against because of their race.  This was hinted at in Regents v. Bakke (1978). [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000) Prayer in public schools that is initiated and led by students violates the Establishment Clause.  Which directly goes against and limits those students right to exercise their religion. [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005) Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the Establishment Clause because intelligent design is not science, and it “cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.”  Even though, intelligent design is a theory that attempts to explain the scientific evidences, like evolution and the big bang attempts the same. [x]

The Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) Local governments may seize property for economic development purposes. Noted for converting the “public use” requirement of the Takings Clause (Fifth Amendment) to “public purpose.” [x]

The Heemeyer Bulldozer in 2004 [x]

2010s

The Bundy Standoff in 2014-2018.  An armed confrontation between supporters of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and law enforcement following a 21-year legal dispute in which the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) obtained court orders directing Bundy to pay over $1 million in withheld grazing fees for Bundy’s use of federally owned land adjacent to Bundy’s ranch in southeastern Nevada.   The ongoing dispute started in 1993, when, in protest against changes in grazing rules, Bundy declined to renew his permit for cattle grazing on BLM-administered public lands near Bunkerville, Nevada. According to Bundy, the federal government lacks the constitutional authority to own vast tracts of lands, an argument repeatedly rejected by federal courts. According to the BLM, Bundy continued to graze his cattle on public lands without a permit. In 1998, Bundy was prohibited by the United States District Court for the District of Nevada from grazing his cattle on an area of land later called the Bunkerville Allotment. In July 2013, federal judge Lloyd D. George ordered Bundy to refrain from trespassing on federally administered land in the Gold Butte area of Clark County.   In January 2016, armed men led by Ryan and Ammon Bundy seized control of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon. The occupation ended 40 days later on February 11, when the final occupier willingly went into custody. On February 10, 2016, Cliven Bundy posted to his Facebook page that he was on his way  to the refuge, in part saying “Wake up patriots! Wake up militia! It’s time!!!!”  On January 8, 2018, U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro in Las Vegas dismissed with prejudice the criminal charges against Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and co-defendant Ryan Payne regarding the standoff. [x]

The IRS targeting of conservative groups in 2017 [x]

The US justice department files 17 new charges against Julian Assange, accusing him of violating the Espionage Act by publishing classified military and diplomatic documents exposing US war crimes and killing unarmed civilians. [x]

Edward Snowden leaked details of the secret programmes being run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s secret communication headquarters, GCHQ.  Working deep inside the NSA and the CIA to Hong Kong, where he handed over a cache of classified documents to journalists from the Guardian.  The documents revealed the scale of mass surveillance by the US, UK and their allies. He is high on the US wanted list and faces decades in jail if detained.  Federal prosecutors secretly charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden last week with three felonies. [x]

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is declared a state of emergency and is banned firearms and other weapons on the Capitol grounds in Richmond ahead of a gun rights demonstration.  The event, hosted by Virginia Citizens Defense League, drew thousands of armed demonstrators, some from out of state, peacefully.  Despite the peaceful protest, the state still passed and imposed more limitations on the 2nd Amendment. [x]

2020s

Local and State governments across America imposed “shelter-in-place” orders, restricting the free movement of citizens and forced closure of religious practices.  The governments solely determined religious institutions and practices as “non-essential” and ordered their closure or face fines and arrest.  Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was charged with misdemeanor counts of unlawful assembly and violation of public health rules in Florida’s Hillsborough County after running services for hundreds of worshipers at the River at Tampa Bay Church.  [x] Tony Spell, was arrested after operating services in Central, La., for the Life Tabernacle Church. He was charged with six counts of violating the governor’s executive order.  [x] Pastor Juan Bustamante of City On A Hill Church in Houston filed a petition in the Texas Supreme Court, along with two pastors and a conservative activist, asking for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s stay-at-home order to be adjusted to classify religious services as essential.  Days after the lawsuit was filed, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) declared religious services essential [x]

The Raleigh Police Department interferes with protests and even states that “protesting is a non-essential activity” [x]

The State of New York declares in the governor’s Executive Order 202.10 “individuals should not gather in houses of worship, homes, or other locations for religious services” and then uses the state to encroaches on the free exercise of religion by the state by stating: “If possible, religious leaders should consider alternative forms of worship” and influencing how a religion should practice. [x]

The King James Bible Baptist Church of Greenville, Miss. Last Wednesday night the church held a drive-in service using a low-frequency radio-station signal. Everyone in the parking lot kept their windows up. Attendees were quickly surrounded by police cars ordering them to leave. About two minutes into the video you can hear a police officer yelling “Your rights are suspended!”  Lee Gordon of Greenville’s Temple Baptist Church told WREG-TV that “the police started coming up and we said, ‘We think we’re within our rights.’ So they started issuing tickets, $500 tickets. . . . I don’t know, it may have been 20 to 30 tickets. Everybody got one. It wasn’t per car. Me and my wife was in a car together and both of us got tickets.” [x]

A police officer in Chincoteague, Va., entered the Lighthouse Fellowship and was upset they were holding a church service for 16 people spaced far apart in a sanctuary that seats 293. He ordered that, per Governor Ralph Northam’s order, no more than ten people could participate in the service. After it was finished, two police officers entered the service, gave the pastor a criminal summons, and told him that if he dared to conduct an Easter service, everyone attending would be given one. [x]

In Louisville, Ky., mayor Greg Fischer warned Christians that anyone attending drive-in Easter Sunday services will be forced to quarantine for 14 days. Police officers have been told to take down attendees’ license-plate numbers to enforce the quarantine. [x]

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