Thursday, March 05, 2009

NC History: When the Republicans were good: they created civil rights which led to mental health civil rights: 42 U.S.C.1983

Fascinating history of civil rights law which has led us to this point in time which assures the civil rights of people w/ mental health challenges as well as, perhaps, those attempting to treat them but who are being blocked:
NC Governor, 1868 – 71

To combat the Ku Klux Klan, Holden hired two dozen detectives in 1869-70. The detective unit was not overly successful in limiting Klan activities, yet Holden's efforts to suppress the Klan exceeded those of other Southern governors. When he called out the militia against the Klan in 1870, imposed martial law in two counties, and suspended the writ of habeas corpus for accused leaders of the Klan in what became known as the Kirk-Holden war, the result was a political backlash that lost the Republicans the upcoming legislative election.

Benjamin Franklin Butler wrote the 1871 Klan Act as associated w/ the above governor's difficulties w/ reigning in the KKK.
Wikipedia summarizes the events leading up to this which morphed into the Civil Rights Act, protecting the interests of all citizens:
"When Republican governor William Woods Holden of North Carolina called out the state militia against the Klan in 1870, the result was a backlash culminating with his impeachment in 1871. Many Southern states had already passed anti-Klan legislation, and, in February 1871, former Union general Benjamin Franklin Butler, a US House of Representatives member from Massachusetts, introduced federal legislation modeled on these acts
The Civil Rights Act of 1871, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, is an important federal statute in force in the United States. Several of its provisions still exist today as codified statutes, but the most important still-existing provision is 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Act was originally enacted a few years after the American Civil War, along with the 1870 Force Act. One of the chief reasons for its passage was to protect southern blacks from the Ku Klux Klan by providing a civil remedy for abuses then being committed in the South. The statute has been subject to only minor changes since then, but has been the subject of voluminous interpretation by courts.
Here is the general statement re: civil rights which indicates that in the instance when state law does not 'rise to the occasion', federal law can be utilized to protect the civil rights of citizens:
Sec. 1983. Civil action for deprivation of rights Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.


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