Civil Rights Law
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Civil rights are a set of legal protections that guarantee everyone in society fair treatment. These protections can range from the right to a safe environment in the workplace to the freedom to choose your own doctor or insurance company.
Discrimination against people based on their race, gender, religion, age, disability, or national origin is illegal under the Civil Rights Laws of the United States.
The Civil Rights Act of 1875
The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was one of the most important laws passed during the Reconstruction era to help African Americans achieve freedom and become American citizens. It prohibited discrimination in public places and outlawed segregation based on race.
The law also provided that anyone who was denied access to public accommodations because of race would be entitled to monetary compensation. This was significant because it helped curtail unequal access to hotels, restaurants, theaters, and other public amenities.
It was first introduced in 1870 by Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, a firebrand Republican who wanted to ensure that African Americans could enjoy the same public facilities as their white counterparts. However, it went through many changes before being passed in a lame-duck session of Congress after the 1874 elections.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation in history. It addressed issues of discrimination and segregation in voting, public accommodations, education, employment, and housing.
The Act banned discrimination in these areas based on race, religion, national origin, and sex. It also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce this law.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the first step toward a nation that would guarantee equal treatment for all citizens, regardless of race. However, there remains much work to be done on many civil rights issues. Poverty, unemployment, lack of access to healthcare, and poor education are still problems that face Americans today.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation ever enacted. President Lyndon Johnson signed it into law on August 6, 1965, in response to a mass non-violent civil rights campaign that began seven months earlier in Selma, Alabama.
The Act barred barriers to political participation by racial and ethnic minorities, banned discriminatory election practices, and required jurisdictions with a history of disenfranchisement to get federal approval for any changes in voting laws or procedures.
In particular, Section 2 of the VRA prohibits drawing election districts in ways that dilute minority voting strength (e.g., "cracking" a minority community between several election districts or requiring a runoff vote to elect minority representatives). The enforcement of the VRA has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the voter registration disparity between white and African Americans in the South.
The Voting Rights Restoration Act of 1965
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark law that prohibited discrimination in voting. It is considered a key component of the Civil Rights movement and was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965.
Before the Voting Rights Act was passed, a series of policies, including literacy tests and poll taxes, prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote. The Voting Rights Act banned those and other racial discriminatory laws, clearing the way for thousands of black people to participate in elections across the country.
The Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 guarantees everyone equal access to public accommodations. It also prohibits discrimination based on race.
The ERA was a critical element in the fight for equality. However, it took decades for it to gain real momentum.
Many advocates feared the ERA would undermine laws that protected women and children in the workplace and limit the hours they could work. Nevertheless, it was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification in 1972.
Passing the ERA would provide legal protections against future attempts to roll back women’s rights and empower advocates to fight discrimination based on gender at the federal, state, and local levels. It would also clarify the status of sex discrimination in the court system, requiring courts to apply the same level of strict scrutiny as they do with racial discrimination claims.
Civil rights are a set of legal protections that guarantee everyone in society fair treatment. These protections can range from the right to a safe environment in the workplace to the freedom to choose your own doctor or insurance company. Discrimination against people based on their race, gender, religion, age, disability, or national origin is…
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