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The Civil Rights Act of 1875 (Template:USStat) was a United States federal law proposed by Republican Senator Charles Sumner and Republican Congressman Benjamin F. Butler in 1870. The act was passed by Congress in February, 1875 and signed by President Grant on March 1, 1875. It was declared unconstitutional[1] by the US Supreme Court in 1883[2]. Many of the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 were passed into law in the 1960s with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act using the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

The Act guaranteed that everyone, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, was entitled to the same treatment in "public accommodations" (i.e. inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement).

If found guilty, the lawbreaker could face a penalty anywhere from $500 to $1,000 and/or 30 days to 1 year in prison. However, the law was rarely enforced (especially after the withdrawal of federal troops from the South after the 1876 Presidential election) and in the 1883 Civil Rights Cases the Supreme Court deemed the act unconstitutional on the basis that Congress had no power to regulate the conduct of individuals. The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits discrimination by the state, not by individuals.



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