Congressional Protection of Fundamental Rights in the Reconstruction Era
During the Reconstruction Era, Congress expanded the power of the national government to protect life, liberty, and property rights against public and private deprivation. Employing its enforcement powers under the Thir- teenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, Congress adopted a series of civil rights acts that extended judicial and executive protection to all persons against state interference with, or failure to protect, fundamental rights.1 While the civil rights acts authorized the federal courts to protect the statutory rights that Congress conferred, the Circuit Court Jurisdiction Act (the Removal Act) of March 3, 1875, greatly expanded national court jurisdiction over virtually all cases raising federal constitutional and statutory questions.2 By providing access to a federal forum, the Removal Act____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Liberty, Property, and Privacy:Toward a Jurisprudence of Substantive Due Process. Contributors: Edward Keynes - Author. Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press. Place of publication: University Park, PA. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 75.
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