The United States Constitution has always protected the freedoms of American citizens. The first ten Amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, protect our rights to free speech, to the free exercise of religion, to privacy in our homes and property and to due process of law, as well as other liberties.
Until the aftermath of the Civil War though, Americans had little positive recourse against actions by the government that infringed on our constitutional liberties. Even in outrageous situations where the government had violated the provisions of the Constitution, all the citizen could hope for was to have a court dismiss frivolous charges against him. There was no avenue for being compensated for such wrongdoing or for preventing its recurrence.
The first Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress in 1867. This legislation established a legal course of action through which citizens could sue government officials who were guilty of violating one's individual constitutional freedoms, and be awarded full compensation. The law also established a way to enjoin government officials from committing such wrongdoing again.
It is a law in the cause of freedom which, even today, finds little parallel elsewhere in the world. It provides the single greatest legal protection Americans enjoy against abuses by the government. Constitutional claims under the first Civil Rights Act range from charges of police brutality, to environmental laws that destroy the value of citizens' property, to striking down laws that restrict one's freedom to demonstrate on city streets.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 further expanded the scope of federally protected freedoms. This historic law protects categories of people rather than the individual.
Most employers were, for the first time, prohibited from engaging in discriminatory hiring practices involving race, gender, faith or ancestry. Hotels, railroads, and many other kinds of companies that provide public accommodations also were prohibited from engaging in discrimination. The Act provides for injunctive relief, compensation to the affected parties, and the award of attorney fees to a prevailing plaintiff.
If you feel that the government has been violating your freedoms, Attorney Stephen Merrill is one of few local attorneys willing to make the government answer to the Constitution. As a leader in the Libertarian Party, as a past member of the ACLU and as a civil rights trial attorney, Mr. Merrill's credentials in the support of freedom speak for themselves.
Our firm is presently pursuing important law-enforcement brutality cases in Anchorage Federal Court.
Hire the Alaska civil rights attorney who can make government officials be responsible for their actions.