How poverty in the United States challenges American principles of equality and opportunity

poverty in the united states

The aspect of poverty, racism and equality in the United States was manifested in the case of 1948, which involved the United States Supreme Court. This court established that the provisions of California land laws of 1913 and 1920 were in breach of the rights provided in the 14th amendment to a citizen of the United States called Fred Oyama. Oyama’s father used Fred’s name to buy land in the United States although he held a Japanese citizenship. In this regard, it was difficult to discard the California law on alien land ownership. The law applied in this particular case is to enforce an escheat pertaining to some agricultural land. Oyama was a minor, which was the cause of the contention. The father could not be allowed to owe land because he could not acquire citizenship through naturalization method.

The father was later appointed as the guardian of the minor although he was accused of undermining the privileges of his son, who was an American citizen. This was in breach of the 14th amendment on the rights and privileges of American citizens. The California alien land law was explicitly discriminative of the Oyama about the conveyances, which were fully finance by Oyama’s father. These conveyances are assumed to be a consideration for the safeguarding of the father’s land rather than as a gift (Lareau 51). The contention was caused by eth normal California stipulating in law that any conveyance of a father to his son or daughter amounts to a gift. The rights of Oyama in this case were also breached given that the Californian law requires that the ownership of a property by a son of an ineligible parent is regarded as suspect unless the parent is legible alien. Additionally, Oyama is under pressure to substantially confirm that his father did not perform his duties as a guardian for Oyama. This also is discriminative given there is no other precedential case to corroborate evidence that Oyama’s father was inadequate in his duty as a guardian.

Oyama discrimination was discriminated because his father held a Japanese citizenship. This resulted in Oyama forfeiting the land to the state (Howland and Luise 47). This discrimination was in bad faith given that it was based on race. The ruling on this case was based on the premise that the US law on Alien land ownership must be protected. However, race played a role in the judgment of the controversial case (Hossfeld 55). The California Supreme court supported a decision of the state trial court. This decision was in disregard of Oyama’s land.In this regard, the Supreme Court granted Certiorari order.

Later, the Chief justice, Vinson communicates the Court’s opinions pertaining to Oyama’s case. According to Dickson, the petitioner of this case challenged the legal merit of the case given that the application of California alien land law is aimed at affecting an escheat of just two agricultural land parcels of land (56). Oyama is one of the petitioners of the case. The court considered the petition to be based on a disregard of alien land law by the court. This is because the court fails equally to … law. Additionally, Kajiro Oyama ought to be also protected by the alien land law. Furthermore, the court was in contravention of the law in sanctioning of the land given the expiry of applicable limitations period. When handling a federal constitutional rights case, it is prudent to ascertain whether the rights of the aggrieved party have been substantially denied. The effect of the ruling must also be taken into consideration.

It is not sufficient to deny an Alien land ownership on just express terms. Dickson asserts that the land was bought in 1934 when Oyama was just six years old (64) .When Kajiro Oyama paid the consideration price of $4000 a title deed was given to Fred. The father petitioned the Sandi ego court to appoint him as the guardian of Oyama because he claimed that the purchased 6-acre land legally belonged to Fred Oyama. The court favorably considered the petitioner’s case and Kajiro Oyama was appointed as Fred’s guardian. The father began his guardian duties of tilling the land on behalf of Fred Oyama. According to Howland and Luise, Kajiro Oyama sought the court’s leave to borrow $4000 to finance crops for the next season (83). Consequently, the court approved the borrowing of the $4000 for mortgage and financing of crops.


Works cited

Howland, Douglas, and Luise, White. The State of Sovereignty: Territories, Laws, Populations. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. Print.

Dickson, Del. The Supreme Court in conference, 1940-1985: the private discussions behind Nearly 300 Supreme Court decisions. New York, Oxford University Press. 2008. Print.

Hossfeld, Karen J., Gender, Race, and Class in Silicon Valley. University of California journal, 1990 (1): 3, pp. 34-57.

Lareau, Annette .Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. The American journal, 2010(2): 1, pp.41-72

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