The Nation's First Civil-Rights Law Needs to Be Fixed

Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 legislated for the first time that citizenship belongs to persons “of every race and color” and that all citizens “shall have” the “same” right “to make and enforce contracts” and to “the full and equal benefit of all laws ... as is enjoyed by white citizens.” However, this law continues to fall short over 150 years after its enactment.


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