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PREFACE The Committee is pleased to make available the compilation of these Federal Civil Rights Acts.
Congress has enacted two civil rights laws since this print was last published in 1985. The Civil Rights Restoration Act (Public Law 100-259) took effect, over a Presidential veto, on March 22, 1988. On September 13, 1988, the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-430) was enacted and became effective March 12, 1989.
The Restoration Act amends four separate statutes: Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in any federally assisted program; Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments prohibits sex discrimination in any federally assisted education program; Section 504 bans disability-based discrimination in any federally assisted or conducted program; and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 bars age discrimination in any federally assisted program. Congress amended these laws because a 1984 Supreme Court decision, styled Grove City College v. Bell, 465 U.S. 555, severely narrowed the scope of coverage of their nondiscrimination prohibition. The Restoration Act mandates the broad scope of coverage used by executive branch agencies in their enforcement of these laws prior to the Court's 1984 ruling. As a result of the Restoration Act, when federal assistance is flowing to any part of a recipient's operation, all of its operations must comply with the nondiscrimination duty.
Congressional amendments to the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, were necessary to give meaning to the Federal policy embodied in the earlier law banning racial discrimination in the sale or rental of residential housing. Amendments adopted by the 100th Congress to the 1968 Fair Housing Act mark an historic turning point in our Nation's commitment to nondiscrimination in housing in two respects. First, it goes beyond a mere statement of policy against such discrimination by establishing an effective and meaningful enforcement mechanism. Second, it extends the protection of Federal fair housing law to disabled persons and to families with children.
The Committee is hopeful the changes made to these laws will do much to achieve the promise of equal justice under the law.