What Is Actually Covered By Civil Rights Law

Posted on: 28 November 2018

Civil rights law can seem very abstract to people, and folks often struggle with figuring out when a particular case ought to be taken to an attorney who works in the field. Under American law, a civil rights case is one that includes questions about discrimination that allegedly occurred as a result of a victim's race, ethnicity, religious identity, perceived physical or mental disabilities, or age. The main laws that have empowered people to pursue such cases are fairly recent, and they include the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. America's Fourteenth and Fourth Amendments also play key roles.

If that seems like it covers a lot of ground, that's because it absolutely does. Those wondering if they should get in touch with a civil rights law services firm can look at these three examples of situations that are governed by such legal protections.

Police Misconduct 

People who follow the news regarding a wide range of police misconduct cases, which cover everything from racial profiling to the activities of dirty cops, might notice that civil rights cases often end up attached to them. This is because almost every action the police might take runs the risk of violating someone's rights. If a search and seizure was illegal, for example, the police officers may be charged with violating the person's Fourth Amendment rights. If they targeted a citizen on the basis of race, that has the potential to be a violation of Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Public Accommodations and People with Disabilities

Any business that serves the general public without requiring a membership is considered a public accommodation. The Americans with Disabilities Act compelled such organizations to accommodate people with difficulties ranging from communication to transportation. For example, this is why you might see a post office with a wheelchair ramp.

Educational Access

One of the biggest factors in bringing the civil rights movement to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s was the question of educational access, specifically whether schools had the right to exclude students on the basis of race. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the practice known as segregation was unconstitutional. After this, the federal government spent the better part of two decades making the rule stick, even resorting to sending U.S. Marshals and members of the Army to protect students.

If you want advice on your specific case, contact a civil rights law firm, such as Jacobs & Barbone P A.

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