May 27, 2008

Whether a federal law enacted shortly after the Civil War that grants all persons the same right to make and enforce contracts regardless of race protects those who complain about discrimination from retaliation. DECIDED

One of the earliest civil rights statutes, enacted by Congress shortly after the Civil War, prohibits racial discrimination in the making and enforcing of contracts. The question in this case is whether the law's prohibition against discrimination protects individuals who complain about discrimination from retaliatory action. In its amicus brief, the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights (of which the ACLU is a member) argues that the language, history, and purpose of the law all clearly indicate that it was intended to prohibit retaliation.

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