Michigan Advance: Tlaib sponsors bill to restore and expand civil rights

October 29, 2020
In The News

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) has co-sponsored legislation to push back against what she calls “decades of conservative court rulings and to reaffirm the use of discrimination claims based to show disparate impact.” 

House Resolution 8698, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), is called “Justice for All.” It also provides avenues for legal remedies and award of damages. 

“Brave Americans throughout our history have put their lives on the line to win critical civil rights protections from Congress, but unfortunately many of their sacrifices have been undermined by conservative courts determined to give corporations and the government a license to discriminate if they just use the right code words and proxies for race, gender and other aspects of who we are,” Tlaib said. 

Tlaib said the legislation would restore and expand protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. 

“Justice for All aims to restore the original intent of our civil rights laws by restoring the ability to fight discrimination as we experience it today – in things like rejected mortgage applications, unfair car insurance rates, and racial profiling by the police. We have worked with lawyers on the front lines of protecting our rights for more than a year and a half to develop this legislation that meets the injustices of today with the spirit of the civil rights warriors who came before us,” she said.

Tlaib’s U.S. House Democratic colleagues and U.S. Senate Democrats have advocated for legislation to restore and protect key provisions in the seminal Voting Rights Act. However, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate and President Donald Trump have not shown interest in supporting the effort. 

The Justice for All legislation would also: 

  • Amend laws to prohibit discrimination against people based on (actual or perceived) race, color, religion, sex, disability, age or national origin.
  • Protect people from discrimination in all aspects of life, including housing, schooling, public accommodations, employment, government facilities, privatized government functions, federally funded programs, and any commercial establishment (online or physical).
  • Prohibit the use of compelled arbitration clauses, which can be used to take away consumer and employee rights.
  • Eliminate qualified immunity for government employees including police officers “which allows them to escape responsibility for their actions.” It also prohibits racial and gender profiling in police investigations and activity.

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