Civil Rights Act

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Civil Rights Act may refer to several acts in the history of civil rights in the United States, including:

Federal legislation[edit]

  • Civil Rights Act of 1866, extending the rights of emancipated slaves by stating that any person born in the United States regardless of race is a U.S. citizen. Overrode a veto by President Andrew Johnson.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1871, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, prohibiting ethnic violence against African-Americans.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875, prohibiting discrimination in "public accommodations"; found unconstitutional in 1883 as Congress could not regulate conduct of individuals.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1957, establishing the Civil Rights Commission.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1960, establishing federal inspection of local voter registration polls.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin by federal and state governments as well as some public places.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibiting discrimination in sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, creed, and national origin.
  • Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, sometimes known as the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 or the Grove City Bill, which specified that recipients of federal funds must comply with civil rights laws in all areas, not just in the particular program or activity that received federal funding. Overrode a veto by President Ronald Reagan.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1990, also known as the Kennedy-Hawkins Civil Rights Act, sought to protect job discrimination against minorities and women after six Supreme Court decisions the previous year made the burden of proof of discriminating hiring practices rest on the employee, not the employer. Vetoed by George H. W. Bush. Only Civil Rights Act to be successfully vetoed.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991, providing the right to trial by jury on discrimination claims and introducing the possibility of emotional distress damages, while limiting the amount that a jury could award. It was a watered-down version of the Civil Rights Act of 1990.

State legislation[edit]

  • California: Unruh Civil Rights Act, a 1959 law prohibiting discrimination in housing
  • Florida: Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status