ACLU Handbook Series: The Rights of Racial Minorities


ACLU Handbook Series: The Rights of Racial Minorities

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This paperback is part of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) Handbook Series. Using a question-and-answer format, this book makes clear how to take advantage of the laws designed to secure the rights of racial minorities. Individual chapters explain the federal civil laws and procedures protecting the rights of racial minorities in voting, employment, education, housing, public accommodations, federally assisted programs and jury selection and trials. Relevant criminal statutes and the use of race-conscious remedies are also covered. The initial basis for the rights of racial minorities was provided by three constitutional amendments adopted following the Civil War during the period of Reconstruction. Each of these amendments authorized Congress to enforce them by appropriate legislation, which Congress has repeatedly done. The most important of the Reconstruction laws were the Civil Rights Act fo 1866, the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which was declared unconstitutional in 1883. In response to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Congress enacted and amended a number of modern civil rights acts including the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended in 1970, 1975 and 1982; and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to ensure equality and eradicate the continuing effects of past discrimination accumulated over more than two centuries. The challenge to the nation remains to bring reality to the declared principle that all persons are created equal.

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