PBS tonight will premier a documentary,
In the ruling for Hernandez v. the State of Texas, the justices unanimously gave Mexican-Americans status as a protected class under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause. Texas had argued that Mexican-Americans, excluded from juries in Jackson County for a quarter-century, were not discriminated against because they were considered White – and, thus, were represented in the all-White juries.
Carlos Sandoval, a director for the one-hour documentary, earned a law degree from the University of Chicago. But he never heard of the case until he read about it when The New York Times wrote an editorial about the 50th anniversary of the case.
“I was surprised by this case that involved Latinos – a landmark case – and I knew nothing about it,” says Sandoval, who then attended a November 2004 conference on the case organized by University of Houston Professor Michael Olivas “to see if there was enough of a story there for a documentary.”
“A Class Apart” premieres at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central tonight on PBS stations.
“Brown swamped that case even though (Hernandez) was decided before,” says Olivas, who authored “Colored Men and Hombres Aquí: Hernandez v. Texas and the Rise of Mexican American Lawyering”
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