Civil Rights Laws

 

This is not a comprehensive list of Civil Rights Laws contained in the US Code. However these are some of the Civil Rights Laws that are violated most frequently and end yet so seldom enforced.

 

18 U.S. Code § 241. Conspiracy against rights

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696; Pub. L. 90–284, title I, § 103(a), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7018(a), (b)(1), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60006(a), title XXXII, §§ 320103(a), 320201(a), title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1970, 2109, 2113, 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §§ 604(b)(14)(A), 607(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3511.)

 

18 U.S . Code § 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law



Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696; Pub. L. 90–284, title I, § 103(b), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7019, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60006(b), title XXXII, §§ 320103(b), 320201(b), title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1970, 2109, 2113, 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §§ 604(b)(14)(B), 607(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3511.)

 

 

18 U.S. Code § 245. Federally protected activities

 

(a)

(1)

Nothing in this section shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of Congress to prevent any State, any possession or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia, from exercising jurisdiction over any offense over which it would have jurisdiction in the absence of this section, nor shall anything in this section be construed as depriving State and local law enforcement authorities of responsibility for prosecuting acts that may be violations of this section and that are violations of State and local law. No prosecution of any offense described in this section shall be undertaken by the United States except upon the certification in writing of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or any Assistant Attorney General specially designated by the Attorney General that in his judgment a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice, which function of certification may not be delegated.

(2)

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of Federal officers, or a Federal grand jury, to investigate possible violations of this section.

(b) Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with—

(1) any person because he is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from—

(A)

voting or qualifying to vote, qualifying or campaigning as a candidate for elective office, or qualifying or acting as a poll watcher, or any legally authorized election official, in any primary, special, or general election;

(B)

participating in or enjoying any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility, or activity provided or administered by the United States;

(C)

applying for or enjoying employment, or any perquisite thereof, by any agency of the United States;

(D)

serving, or attending upon any court in connection with possible service, as a grand or petit juror in any court of the United States;

(E)

participating in or enjoying the benefits of any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance; or

(2) any person because of his race, color, religion or national origin and because he is or has been—

(A)

enrolling in or attending any public school or public college;

(B)

participating in or enjoying any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility or activity provided or administered by any State or subdivision thereof;

(C)

applying for or enjoying employment, or any perquisite thereof, by any private employer or any agency of any State or subdivision thereof, or joining or using the services or advantages of any labor organization, hiring hall, or employment agency;

(D)

serving, or attending upon any court of any State in connection with possible service, as a grand or petit juror;

(E)

traveling in or using any facility of interstate commerce, or using any vehicle, terminal, or facility of any common carrier by motor, rail, water, or air;

(F)

enjoying the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests, or of any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility which serves the public and which is principally engaged in selling food or beverages for consumption on the premises, or of any gasoline station, or of any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium, or any other place of exhibition or entertainment which serves the public, or of any other establishment which serves the public and (i) which is located within the premises of any of the aforesaid establishments or within the premises of which is physically located any of the aforesaid establishments, and (ii) which holds itself out as serving patrons of such establishments; or

(3)

during or incident to a riot or civil disorder, any person engaged in a business in commerce or affecting commerce, including, but not limited to, any person engaged in a business which sells or offers for sale to interstate travelers a substantial portion of the articles, commodities, or services which it sells or where a substantial portion of the articles or commodities which it sells or offers for sale have moved in commerce; or

(4) any person because he is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from—

(A)

participating, without discrimination on account of race, color, religion or national origin, in any of the benefits or activities described in subparagraphs (1)(A) through (1)(E) or subparagraphs (2)(A) through (2)(F); or

(B)

affording another person or class of persons opportunity or protection to so participate; or

(5)

any citizen because he is or has been, or in order to intimidate such citizen or any other citizen from lawfully aiding or encouraging other persons to participate, without discrimination on account of race, color, religion or national origin, in any of the benefits or activities described in subparagraphs (1)(A) through (1)(E) or subparagraphs (2)(A) through (2)(F), or participating lawfully in speech or peaceful assembly opposing any denial of the opportunity to so participate—

shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death. As used in this section, the term “participating lawfully in speech or peaceful assembly” shall not mean the aiding, abetting, or inciting of other persons to riot or to commit any act of physical violence upon any individual or against any real or personal property in furtherance of a riot. Nothing in subparagraph (2)(F) or (4)(A) of this subsection shall apply to the proprietor of any establishment which provides lodging to transient guests, or to any employee acting on behalf of such proprietor, with respect to the enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of such establishment if such establishment is located within a building which contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and which is actually occupied by the proprietor as his residence.

(c)

Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to deter any law enforcement officer from lawfully carrying out the duties of his office; and no law enforcement officer shall be considered to be in violation of this section for lawfully carrying out the duties of his office or lawfully enforcing ordinances and laws of the United States, the District of Columbia, any of the several States, or any political subdivision of a State. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term “law enforcement officer” means any officer of the United States, the District of Columbia, a State, or political subdivision of a State, who is empowered by law to conduct investigations of, or make arrests because of, offenses against the United States, the District of Columbia, a State, or a political subdivision of a State.

(d)

For purposes of this section, the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(Added Pub. L. 90–284, title I, § 101(a), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 73; amended Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7020(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 101–647, title XII, § 1205(b), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4830; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60006(c), title XXXII, § 320103(c), title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(H), (L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1971, 2109, 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 604(b)(14)(C), (37), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3509.)

 

 

U.S. Code § 246. Deprivation of relief benefits

Whoever directly or indirectly deprives, attempts to deprive, or threatens to deprive any person of any employment, position, work, compensation, or other benefit provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress appropriating funds for work relief or relief purposes, on account of political affiliation, race, color, sex, religion, or national origin, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(Added Pub. L. 94–453, § 4(a), Oct. 2, 1976, 90 Stat. 1517; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)



18 U.S. Code § 247. Damage to religious property; obstruction of persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs

(a) Whoever, in any of the circumstances referred to in subsection (b) of this section—

(1)

intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious real property, because of the religious character of that property, or attempts to do so; or

(2)

intentionally obstructs, by force or threat of force, including by threat of force against religious real property, any person in the enjoyment of that person’s free exercise of religious beliefs, or attempts to do so;

shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).

(b)

The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the offense is in or affects interstate or foreign commerce.

(c)

Whoever intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious real property because of the race, color, or ethnic characteristics of any individual associated with that religious property, or attempts to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).

(d) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) or (c) of this section shall be—

(1)

if death results from acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death;

(2)

if bodily injury results to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this section, and the violation is by means of fire or an explosive, a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more that 40 years, or both;

(3)

if bodily injury to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this section, results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both;

(4)

if damage to or destruction of property results from the acts committed in violation of this section, which damage to or destruction of such property is in an amount that exceeds $5,000, a fine in accordance with this title, imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both; and

(5)

in any other case, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(e)

No prosecution of any offense described in this section shall be undertaken by the United States except upon the certification in writing of the Attorney General or his designee that in his judgment a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.

(f)

As used in this section, the term “religious real property” means any church, synagogue, mosque, religious cemetery, or other religious real property, including fixtures or religious objects contained within a place of religious worship, or real property owned or leased by a nonprofit, religiously affiliated organization.

(g)

No person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any noncapital offense under this section unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted not later than 7 years after the date on which the offense was committed.

(Added Pub. L. 100–346, § 1, June 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 644; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60006(d), title XXXII, § 320103(d), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1971, 2110; Pub. L. 104–155, § 3, July 3, 1996, 110 Stat. 1392; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §§ 601(c)(3), 605(r), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3499, 3511; Pub. L. 107–273, div. B, title IV, § 4002(c)(1), (e)(4), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1808, 1810; Pub. L. 115–249, § 2, Sept. 28, 2018, 132 Stat. 3162.)



18 U.S. Code § 249. Hate crime acts

(a) In General.—

(1)Offenses involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person—

(A)

shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

(B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if—

(i)

death results from the offense; or

(ii)

the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

(2) Offenses involving actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.—

(A)In general.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B) or paragraph (3), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person—

(i)

shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

(ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if—

(I)

death results from the offense; or

(II)

the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

(B)Circumstances described.—For purposes of subparagraph (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are that—

(i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) occurs during the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the defendant or the victim—

(I)

across a State line or national border; or

(II)

using a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce;

(ii)

the defendant uses a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);

(iii)

in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm, dangerous weapon, explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce; or

(iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A)—

(I)

interferes with commercial or other economic activity in which the victim is engaged at the time of the conduct; or

(II)

otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.

(3)Offenses occurring in the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the united states.—

Whoever, within the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States, engages in conduct described in paragraph (1) or in paragraph (2)(A) (without regard to whether that conduct occurred in a circumstance described in paragraph (2)(B)) shall be subject to the same penalties as prescribed in those paragraphs.

(4)Guidelines.—

All prosecutions conducted by the United States under this section shall be undertaken pursuant to guidelines issued by the Attorney General, or the designee of the Attorney General, to be included in the United States Attorneys’ Manual that shall establish neutral and objective criteria for determining whether a crime was committed because of the actual or perceived status of any person.

(b) Certification Requirement.—

(1)In general.—No prosecution of any offense described in this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, or a designee, that—

(A)

the State does not have jurisdiction;

(B)

the State has requested that the Federal Government assume jurisdiction;

(C)

the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence; or

(D)

a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.

(2)Rule of construction.—

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of Federal officers, or a Federal grand jury, to investigate possible violations of this section.

(c)Definitions.—In this section—

(1)

the term “bodily injury” has the meaning given such term in section 1365(h)(4) of this title, but does not include solely emotional or psychological harm to the victim;

(2)

the term “explosive or incendiary device” has the meaning given such term in section 232 of this title;

(3)

the term “firearm” has the meaning given such term in section 921(a) of this title;

(4)

the term “gender identity” means actual or perceived gender-related characteristics; and

(5)

the term “State” includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

(d) Statute of Limitations.—

(1)Offenses not resulting in death.—

Except as provided in paragraph (2), no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense under this section unless the indictment for such offense is found, or the information for such offense is instituted, not later than 7 years after the date on which the offense was committed.

(2)Death resulting offenses.—

An indictment or information alleging that an offense under this section resulted in death may be found or instituted at any time without limitation.

(Added and amended Pub. L. 111–84, div. E, §§ 4707(a), 4711, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2838, 2842.)

42 U.S. Code Chapter 21 - CIVIL RIGHTS



SUBCHAPTER I—GENERALLY (§§ 1981 – 1996b)