Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Act Of Civil Rights

The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was signed into law on March 1st 1875 by President Ulysses S Grant.

The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was a federal law proposed by Republican Representative Benjamin Franklin Butler and Senator Charles Sumner.  The last biracial United State Congress of the 19th century, passed the law in February 1875, and President Ulysses S Grant signed it into law March 1st 1875.  The Act promised that everyone, irrespective of color, past condition of bondage, or race was entitled to equal treatment in “public accommodations”.  “Public accommodations” included services on juries, public transportation, restaurants and theaters.

The law was hardly ever enforced.  The Supreme Court declared in the 1883 Civil Rights Cases that the 1875 Act was unconstitutional.  It stated that the 14th Amendment prohibited discrimination by states, but did not give power to the government to stop private individuals from discriminating.

If you’re interested in reading the original law as passed this web site, Civil Rights Act of 1875  is a good place to start.

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