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The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was an effort of the Post-Civil War Congresses to enforce civil rights throughout the United States It was a part of the Reconstructionists to eliminate racial discrimination throughout the United States and this Act was one form to attempt to accomplish this They took the authority to pass this Act from Section 5 of the 14th Amendment They interpreted that section to allow the Congress the power to define as well as enforce the rights established by the 14th Amendment When the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was tested by the Supreme Court it held that interpretation of the amendment and thus the Act was unconstitutional and in passing the Act overstepped the power granted by the amendment to Congress The ruling and the dissent to this opinion of the Court looked to four main constitutional issues to support their findings civil and social rights implied and expressed powers federal supremacy and state sovereignty and finally strict and broad interpretations One of the issues exhibited in the Civil Rights Cases was the protection of civil rights versus the protection of what has been deemed as social rights The argument of Justice Bradley indicted that the 13th and 14th Amendment can only be looked to for the protection of civil rights and expansion of these protections to social rights would be outside the scope of the Constitution The protection of these rights instead fell to the States and their authority to legislate their own domestic affairs Civil rights are identified as those safeguarded by the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution the essential rights of life liberty and property against State infringement and therefore cannot be breached by acts of individuals Social rights or protection against discrimination however does not fall within the scope of the US Constitution The imposition of an individual into the rights of an injured party if not sanctioned in some way by the State
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