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National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights

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As Americans we expect that we all have opportunity, and that our laws make our society fair and our government accountable. Our civil rights laws were written not to benefit just a few, but to protect us all. For the past few years the federal courts have made it more and more difficult to ensure that all people are treated fairly. The National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights is working hard to make sure our laws are in step with the country we want for future generations and ourselves.

Children's Rights

State-funded programs that protect and care for children are under fire from federal courts, which, in some cases, are making it very difficult for people or groups to sue their state, even if that state is violating the law.

Disability Rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990 to make sure that people with disabilities are protected from discrimination. After a series of Supreme Court rulings, however, people who were discriminated against because of a intellectual, psychological, or physical impairment often were not able to prove that they were entitled to any protections at all under the ADA.


There is no fundamental right to education in our country. Poorer children are more likely to go to schools with fewer resources, even in the public schools. And our public schools are as segregated now as they were when segregation was legal.

Environmental Justice

We used to be able to stop polluters from targeting our communities of color-until the Supreme Court recently allowed these polluters back in. And now the courts have made it almost impossible to do anything about it.

Environmental Protection

Rulings in the federal courts concerning environmental protection can have incredibly wide-reaching impacts. The ultimate consequences of the decisions our courts make about the air we breathe, the water we drink, and our systems of nature affect us all.

Health Care

Americans have no federal right to quality health care, health insurance, or non-emergency treatment. In the United States, there are more than 45 million people without health insurance, and many more are seriously underinsured, as their insurance companies find whatever loopholes possible to refuse to pay for the necessary treatments.

Housing Rights

The 1968 Fair Housing Act aims to eliminate discrimination in the sale and rental of homes on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, and disability. Although federal housing laws have enjoyed broad support through much of their history, the protections they guarantee have been threatened by recent court decisions.

Immigrants' Rights

Federal courts have played an important role in protecting people, including immigrants, against discrimination. Just like people born in the United States, immigrants have also been able to seek redress in the courts when their rights are violated, though the system has been far from perfect.

Language Rights

People who don't speak English as their first language face discrimination that affects their access to health care, education, employment, and justice. Although people can't legally be discriminated against based on their national origin, the courts are making it very hard to enforce.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Rights

There is no federal law protecting people from discrimination based on their actual-or perceived-sexual orientation. Several states have written discrimination into their constitutions and statutes. And some people want to change the US constitution to prevent gay people from marrying.

Racial Justice

Throughout the history of our nation, federal law and court rulings have been crucial to protecting racial justice. The fact remains that people of color still experience discrimination in subtle and overt ways. To make matters worse, several recent key cases in federal court are making it more and more difficult to go to court if you are discriminated against on the basis of race.

Senior Citizens' Rights

Because of recent rulings, the Supreme Court has made it harder-and in some cases impossible-for a person to sue for age discrimination, even if it is proven that discrimination exists.

Women's Rights

Basic legal rights that women have won over the past three decades-the right to choose, the right to equal opportunities and work and in education, and a wide range of other protections that allow women safe and fair lives-are under threat by the appointment of federal judges who share extreme legal philosophies.

Workers' Rights

Because of a series of recent Supreme Court decisions, state employees have lost the right to go to court to seek compensation for unfair labor practices. The Supreme Court has also recently weakened the almost-80-year-old requirements of the National Labor Relations Act.