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Ordinarily, court cases that address the Latino experience in the United
States are presented as addenda to larger narratives-as casebook squibs.
Hernandez v. Texas,' which explores the status of Mexican Americans as a
"protected class," sits in the considerable shadow of Brown v. Board of
Education, decided two weeks later. Discrimination based on language is
presented as a minor variation on the central question of race in American
constitutional law.' The 1975 extension of the Voting Rights Act to cover
jurisdictions in which Latinos were denied access to the vote is a historical
second thought. Courts and lawmakers have assessed Latinos' claims for
recognition using, for the most part, the tools designed for the African
American struggle for equality, which has often been tantamount to forcing
square pegs into round holes.

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minorities, equality, Latinos