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Encyclopedia > Civil Rights Act of 1871
Civil Rights Act of 1871
41st United States Congress

Long title: An Act to enforce the Provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other Purposes
Authored by: Benjamin Franklin Butler
Introduced by: ---
Dates
Date passed: House: ---
Senate: ---
Signed by: President Ulysses S. Grant
Date signed into law: 1871
Amendments: ---
Related legislation: ---

The Civil Rights Act of 1871, now codified and known as 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, is one of the most important federal statutes in force in the United States. It was originally enacted a few years after the American Civil War, and consisted of the 1870 Force Act and 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act. One of the main reasons behind its passage was to protect southern blacks from that organization by providing a civil remedy for abuses then being committed in the South. The statute has been subjected to only minor changes since then, but has been the subject of voluminous interpretation by courts. Dates of Sessions 1869-1871 The first session of this Congress took place in Washington, DC from March 4, 1869 to April 10, 1869. ... Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Benjamin Franklin Butler (1795–1858) was a U.S. lawyer. ... The House of Representatives is the larger of two houses that make up the U.S. Congress, the other being the United States Senate. ... The United States Senate is the upper house of the U.S. Congress, smaller than the United States House of Representatives. ... Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal Law of the United States. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Abraham Lincoln† Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis Robert E. Lee Strength 2,213,363 1,064,200 Casualties KIA: 110,100 Total dead: 359,500 Wounded: 275,200 KIA: 94,000 Total dead: 258,000 Wounded: 137,000+  The American... At President Ulysses Grants request, Congress passed a set of four laws in response to the terrorist acts of the Ku Klux Klan. ... Members of the second Ku Klux Klan at a rally during the 1920s. ...


Section 1983 does not create new civil rights. Instead, it allows individuals to sue state actors in federal courts for civil rights violations. To gain federal jurisdiction, i.e., access to a court, the individual must point to a federal civil right that has been allegedly violated. These rights are encoded in the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes. A state actor is a term used in United States civil rights law to describe a person who is acting on behalf of a governmental body, and is therefore subject to regulation under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which prohibit the federal and state governments, respectively, from violating the rights... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... The United States federal courts are the system of courts organized under the Constitution and laws of the federal government of the United States. ... In law, jurisdiction from the Latin jus, juris meaning law and dicere meaning to speak, is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted body or to a person to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility. ... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... Page I of the Constitution of the United States of America Page II of the United States Constitution Page III of the United States Constitution Page IV of the United States Constitution The Syng inkstand, with which the Constitution was signed The Constitution of the United States is the supreme...


The statute reads:

Every person who under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, Suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.

For most of its history, Section 1983 had very little force. The legal community did not think the statute served as a check on state officials, and did not often litigate under the statute. However, this changed in 1961 when the Supreme Court of the United States decided Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167. In that case, the Court articulated three purposes that underlay the statute: "1) 'to override certain kinds of state laws'; 2) to provide 'a remedy where state law was inadequate'; and 3) to provide 'a federal remedy where the state remedy, though adequate in theory, was not available in practice.'" Blum & Urbonya, Section 1983 Litigation, pg. 2(Federal Judicial Center, 1998) (quoting Monroe v. Pape). Pape opened the door for renewed interest in Section 1983. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the U.S. and leads the judicial branch of the U.S. federal government. ...


Now the statute stands as one of the most powerful authorities with which federal courts may protect those whose rights are deprived. It is most often used to sue police and other state officials who allegedly deprived a plaintiff of Constitutional rights within the criminal justice system.

Contents


History

Benjamin Franklin Butler wrote the 1871 Klan Act.
Enlarge
Benjamin Franklin Butler wrote the 1871 Klan Act.

Image File history File links Benjamin Franklin Butler (politician) - Project Gutenberg eText 13761 - http://www. ... Image File history File links Benjamin Franklin Butler (politician) - Project Gutenberg eText 13761 - http://www. ... Benjamin Franklin Butler Benjamin Franklin Butler (November 5, 1818 – January 11, 1893) was an American lawyer, soldier and politician. ...

Legislation

Main article: Ku Klux Klan

The Klan Act was originally passed because Republican governors in the South during Reconstruction were unwilling or unable to act against violence by the Ku Klux Klan. In lynching cases, whites were almost never indicted by all-white coroner's juries, and even when there was an indictment, all-white trial juries were extremely unlikely to vote for conviction. In many states, there were fears that the use of black militiamen would ignite a race war. When Republican governor Holden of North Carolina called out the state militia against the Klan in 1870, the result was a backlash culminating with his impeachment in 1871. Many Southern states had already passed anti-Klan legislation, and, in February 1871, former Union general Benjamin Franklin Butler, a US House of Representatives member from Massachusetts (who was widely reviled by Southern whites), introduced federal legislation modeled on it. Many politicians at the national level professed doubt that the Klan even existed, but the tide was turned in favor of the bill by the governor of South Carolina's appeal for federal troops, and by reports of a riot and massacre in a Meridian, Mississippi courthouse, which a black state representative escaped only by taking to the woods. Members of the second Ku Klux Klan at a rally during the 1920s. ... Members of the second Ku Klux Klan at a rally during the 1920s. ... Postcard depicting the lynching of Lige Daniels, Center, Texas, USA, August 3, 1920. ... Categories: Stub | 1818 births | 1892 deaths | Governors of North Carolina ... Benjamin Franklin Butler Benjamin Franklin Butler (November 5, 1818 – January 11, 1893) was an American lawyer, soldier and politician. ... The House of Representatives is the larger of two houses that make up the U.S. Congress, the other being the United States Senate. ...


In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant signed Butler's legislation, the Ku Klux Klan Act. Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ...


Use during Reconstruction

Main article: Reconstruction

Under the Klan Act during Reconstruction, federal troops were used rather than state militias to enforce the law, and Klansmen were prosecuted in federal court, where juries were often predominantly black. Hundreds of Klan members were fined or imprisoned, and habeas corpus was suspended in nine counties in South Carolina. These efforts were so successful that the Klan was destroyed in South Carolina and decimated throughout the rest of the country, where it had already been in decline for several years. The Klan was not to exist again until its recreation in 1915, but it had achieved many of its goals in the South, such as denying voting rights to Southern blacks. Reconstruction-era military districts in the South For other uses, see Reconstruction (disambiguation). ... For alternative meanings of habeas corpus, see habeas corpus (disambiguation). ... Official language(s) English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 40th 82,965 km² 320 km 420 km 6 32°430N to 35°12N 78°030W to 83°20W Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 26th 4,012...


Later use

Although some provisions were ruled unconstitutional in 1882, the Force Act and the Klan Act have been invoked in later civil rights conflicts, including the 1964 murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner; the 1965 murder of Viola Liuzzo; and in Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, 506 U.S. 263 (1993), which the court ruled that "The first clause of 1985(3) does not provide a federal cause of action against persons obstructing access to abortion clinics." The Mississippi Civil Rights Workers Murders were the 1964 slayings of three political activists during the American Civil Rights Movement. ... Viola Liuzzo with her husband George Argyris, 1949. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ...


Lawsuits and criminal prosecutions under section 1983 have been widely used in cases of police brutality, most notably in the Rodney King case. Police brutality is a term used to describe the excessive use of physical force, assault, verbal attacks, and threats by police officers. ... Rodney King Glen Rodney King (born April 2, 1965 in Sacramento, California) is an African-American who — while being videotaped by a bystander (George Holliday) — was beaten and arrested by Los Angeles police officers (LAPD) during a police traffic stop on March 3, 1991. ...


External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

  Results from FactBites:
 
Civil Rights Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (313 words)
Civil Rights Act of 1866 aimed to buttress Civil Rights Laws to protect freedmen and to grant full citizenship to those born on U.S. soil except Indians.
Civil Rights Act of 1871 was also known at the time as the "Ku Klux Klan Act" because one of main reasons for its passage was to protect southern fls from the KKK by providing a civil remedy for abuses then being committed in the south.
Civil Rights Act of 1991 provided for the right to trial by jury on discrimination claims and introduced the possibility of emotional distress damages, while limiting the amount that a jury could award.
Civil Rights Act of 1871 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (759 words)
The Civil Rights Act of 1871, now codified and known as 42 U.S.C., is one of the most important federal statutes in force in the United States.
The Klan Act was originally passed because Republican governors in the South during Reconstruction were unwilling or unable to act against violence by the Ku Klux Klan.
Although some provisions were ruled unconstitutional in 1882, the Force Act and the Klan Act have been invoked in later civil rights conflicts, including the 1964 murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner; the 1965 murder of Viola Liuzzo; and in Bray v.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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