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Home Page United States Code United States Code, #42 "The Public Health and Welfare", October 1997
Title: #42 "The Public Health and Welfare"
Chapter: #21 "Civil Rights"
Date: October 1997
Location: United States of America


United States Code, Title 42, Chapter 21


Chapter 21, Subchapter I - Generally
  • 1981. Equal rights under the law.
  • 1981a. Damages in cases of intentional discrimination in employment.
  • 1982. Property rights of citizens.
  • 1983. Civil action for deprivation of rights.
  • 1984. Omitted.
  • 1985. Conspiracy to interfere with civil rights.
  • 1986. Action for neglect to prevent.
  • 1987. Prosecution of violation of certain laws.
  • 1988. Proceedings in vindication of civil rights.
  • 1989. United States magistrate judges; appointment of persons to execute warrants.
  • 1990. Marshal to obey precepts; refusing to receive or execute process.
  • 1991. Fees; persons appointed to execute process.
  • 1992. Speedy trial.
  • 1993. Repealed.
  • 1994. Peonage abolished.
  • 1995. Criminal contempt proceedings; penalties; trial by jury.
  • 1996. Protection and preservation of traditional religions of Native Americans.
  • 1996a. Traditional Indian religious use of peyote.
  • SUBCHAPTER I-A - INSTITUTIONALIZED PERSONS [WWW Links]
  • 1997. Definitions.
  • 1997a. Initiation of civil actions.
  • 1997b. Certification requirements; Attorney General to personally sign certification.
  • 1997c. Intervention in actions.
  • 1997d. Prohibition of retaliation.
  • 1997e. Exhaustion of remedies.
  • 1997f. Report to Congress.
  • 1997g. Priorities for use of funds.
  • 1997h. Notice to Federal departments.
  • 1997i. Disclaimer respecting standards of care.
  • 1997j. Disclaimer respecting private litigation.
  • SUBCHAPTER II - PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS [WWW Links]
  • 2000a. Prohibition against discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation.
  • 2000a-1. Prohibition against discrimination or segregation required by any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, rule or order of a State or State agency.
  • 2000a-2. Prohibition against deprivation of, interference with, and punishment for exercising rights and privileges secured by section 2000a or 2000a-1 of this title.
  • 2000a-3. Civil actions for injunctive relief.
  • 2000a-4. Community Relations Service; investigations and hearings; executive session; release of testimony; duty to bring about voluntary settlements.
  • 2000a-5. Civil actions by the Attorney General.
  • 2000a-6. Jurisdiction; exhaustion of other remedies; exclusiveness of remedies; assertion of rights based on other Federal or State laws and pursuit of remedies for enforcement of such rights.
  • SUBCHAPTER III - PUBLIC FACILITIES [WWW Links]
  • 2000b. Civil actions by the Attorney General.
  • 2000b-1. Liability of United States for costs and attorney's fee.
  • 2000b-2. Personal suits for relief against discrimination in public facilities.
  • 2000b-3. "Complaint" defined.
  • SUBCHAPTER IV - PUBLIC EDUCATION [WWW Links]
  • 2000c. Definitions.
  • 2000c-1. Omitted.
  • 2000c-2. Technical assistance in preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for desegregation of public schools.
  • 2000c-3. Training institutes; stipends; travel allowances.
  • 2000c-4. Grants for inservice training in dealing with and for employment of specialists to advise in problems incident to desegregation; factors for consideration in making grants and fixing amounts, terms, and conditions.
  • 2000c-5. Payments; adjustments; advances or reimbursement; installments.
  • 2000c-6. Civil actions by the Attorney General.
  • 2000c-7. Liability of United States for costs.
  • 2000c-8. Personal suits for relief against discrimination in public education.
  • 2000c-9. Classification and assignment.
  • SUBCHAPTER V - FEDERALLY ASSISTED PROGRAMS [WWW Links]
  • 2000d. Prohibition against exclusion from participation in, denial of benefits of, and discrimination under federally assisted programs on ground of race, color, or national origin.
  • 2000d-1. Federal authority and financial assistance to programs or activities by way of grant, loan, or contract other than contract of insurance or guaranty; rules and regulations; approval by President; compliance with requirements; reports to Congressional committees; effective date of administrative action.
  • 2000d-2. Judicial review; administrative procedure provisions.
  • 2000d-3. Construction of provisions not to authorize administrative action with respect to employment practices except where primary objective of Federal financial assistance is to provide employment.
  • 2000d-4. Federal authority and financial assistance to programs or activities by way of contract of insurance or guaranty.
  • 2000d-4a. "Program or activity" and "program" defined.
  • 2000d-5. Prohibited deferral of action on applications by local educational agencies seeking Federal funds for alleged noncompliance with Civil Rights Act.
  • 2000d-6. Policy of United States as to application of nondiscrimination provisions in schools of local educational agencies.
  • 2000d-7. Civil rights remedies equalization.
  • SUBCHAPTER VI - EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES [WWW Links]
  • 2000e. Definitions.
  • 2000e-1. Applicability to foreign and religious employment.
  • 2000e-2. Unlawful employment practices.
  • 2000e-3. Other unlawful employment practices.
  • 2000e-4. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • 2000e-5. Enforcement provisions.
  • 2000e-6. Civil actions by the Attorney General.
  • 2000e-7. Effect on State laws.
  • 2000e-8. Investigations.
  • 2000e-9. Conduct of hearings and investigations pursuant to section 161 of title 29.
  • 2000e-10. Posting of notices; penalties.
  • 2000e-11. Veterans' special rights or preference.
  • 2000e-12. Regulations; conformity of regulations with administrative procedure provisions; reliance on interpretations and instructions of Commission.
  • 2000e-13. Application to personnel of Commission of sections
  • 111 and 1114 of title 18; punishment for violation of section 1114 of title 18.
  • 2000e-14. Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council; establishment; composition; duties; report to President and Congress.
  • 2000e-15. Presidential conferences; acquaintance of leadership with provisions for employment rights and obligations; plans for fair administration; membership.
  • 2000e-16. Employment by Federal Government.
  • 2000e-17. Procedure for denial, withholding, termination, or suspension of Government contract subsequent to acceptance by Government of affirmative action plan of employer; time of acceptance of plan.
  • SUBCHAPTER VII - REGISTRATION AND VOTING STATISTICS [WWW Links]
  • 2000f. Survey for compilation of registration and voting statistics; geographical areas; scope; application of census provisions; voluntary disclosure; advising of right not to furnish information.
  • SUBCHAPTER VIII - COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE [WWW Links]
  • 2000g. Establishment of Service; Director of Service: appointment, term; personnel.
  • 2000g-1. Functions of Service.
  • 2000g-2. Cooperation with other agencies; conciliation assistance in confidence and without publicity; information as confidential; restriction on performance of investigative or prosecuting functions; violations and penalties.
  • 2000g-3. Reports to Congress.
  • SUBCHAPTER IX - MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS [WWW Links]
  • 2000h. Criminal contempt proceedings: trial by jury, criminal practice, penalties, exceptions, intent; civil contempt proceedings.
  • 2000h-1. Double jeopardy; specific crimes and criminal contempts.
  • 2000h-2. Intervention by Attorney General; denial of equal protection on account of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
  • 2000h-3. Construction of provisions not to affect authority of Attorney General, etc., to institute or intervene in actions or proceedings.
  • 2000h-4. Construction of provisions not to exclude operation of State laws and not to invalidate consistent State laws.
  • 2000h-5. Authorization of appropriations.
  • 2000h-6. Separability.

  • 1981 Equal Rights Under the Law

    1981.a. Statement of equal rights

    All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other.

    1981.b. "Make and enforce contracts" defined

    For purposes of this section, the term "make and enforce contracts" includes the making, performance, modification, and termination of contracts, and the enjoyment of all benefits, privileges, terms, and conditions of the contractual relationship.

    1981.c. Protection against impairment

    The rights protected by this section are protected against impairment by nongovernmental discrimination and impairment under color of State law.

    1981a Damages in Cases of Intentional Discrimination in Employment

    1981a.a. Right of recovery

    1981a.a.1. Civil rights
    In an action brought by a complaining party under section 706 or 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-5, 2000e-16) against a respondent who engaged in unlawful intentional discrimination (not an employment practice that is unlawful because of its disparate impact) prohibited under section 703, 704, or 717 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e-2, 2000e-3, 2000e-16), and provided that the complaining party cannot recover under section 1981 of this title, the complaining party may recover compensatory and punitive damages as allowed in subsection (b) of this section, in addition to any relief authorized by section 706(g) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, from the respondent.

    1981a.a.2. Disability
    In an action brought by a complaining party under the powers, remedies, and procedures set forth in section 706 or 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-5, 2000e-16) (as provided in section 107(a) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12117(a)), and section 794a(a)(1) of title 29, respectively) against a respondent who engaged in unlawful intentional discrimination (not an employment practice that is unlawful because of its disparate impact) under section 791 of title 29 and the regulations implementing section 791 of title 29, or who violated the requirements of section 791 of title 29 or the regulations implementing section 791 of title 29 concerning the provision of a reasonable accommodation, or section 102 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12112), or committed a violation of section 102(b)(5) of the Act, against an individual, the complaining party may recover compensatory and punitive damages as allowed in subsection (b) of this section, in addition to any relief authorized by section 706(g) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, from the respondent.

    1981a.a.3. Reasonable accommodation and good faith effort
    In cases where a discriminatory practice involves the provision of a reasonable accommodation pursuant to section 102(b)(5) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12112(b)(5)) or regulations implementing section 791 of title 29, damages may not be awarded under this section where the covered entity demonstrates good faith efforts, in consultation with the person with the disability who has informed the covered entity that accommodation is needed, to identify and make a reasonable accommodation that would provide such individual with an equally effective opportunity and would not cause an undue hardship on the operation of the business.

    1981a.b. Compensatory and punitive damages

    1981a.b.1. Determination of punitive damages
    A complaining party may recover punitive damages under this section against a respondent (other than a government, government agency or political subdivision) if the complaining party demonstrates that the respondent engaged in a discriminatory practice or discriminatory practices with malice or with reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of an aggrieved individual.

    1981a.b.2. Exclusions from compensatory damages
    Compensatory damages awarded under this section shall not include backpay, interest on backpay, or any other type of relief authorized under section 706(g) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(g)).

    1981a.b.3. Limitations
    The sum of the amount of compensatory damages awarded under this section for future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary losses, and the amount of punitive damages awarded under this section, shall not exceed, for each complaining party -

    1981a.b.3(A) in the case of a respondent who has more than 14 and fewer than 101 employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, $50,000;

    1981a.b.3(B) in the case of a respondent who has more than 100 and fewer than 201 employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, $100,000; and

    1981a.b.3(C) in the case of a respondent who has more than 200 and fewer than 501 employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, $200,000; and

    1981a.b.3(D) in the case of a respondent who has more than 500 employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, $300,000.

    1981a.b.4. Construction
    Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the scope of, or the relief available under, section 1981 of this title.

    1981a.c. Jury trial

    If a complaining party seeks compensatory or punitive damages under this section -

    1981a.c(1) any party may demand a trial by jury; and

    1981a.c(2) the court shall not inform the jury of the limitations described in subsection (b)(3) of this section.

    1981a.d. Definitions

    As used in this section:

    1981a.d.1. Complaining party
    The term "complaining party" means -

    1981a.d.1(A) in the case of a person seeking to bring an action under subsection (a)(1) of this section, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Attorney General, or a person who may bring an action or proceeding under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.); or

    1981a.d.1(B) in the case of a person seeking to bring an action under subsection (a)(2) of this section, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Attorney General, a person who may bring an action or proceeding under section 794a(a)(1) of title 29, or a person who may bring an action or proceeding under title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq.).

    1981a.d.2. Discriminatory practice
    The term "discriminatory practice" means the discrimination described in paragraph (1), or the discrimination or the violation described in paragraph (2), of subsection (a) of this section.

    1982 Property rights of citizens

    All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.

    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. 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.

    1984 Omitted

    1985 Conspiracy to interfere with civil rights

    1985.1. Preventing officer from performing duties

    If two or more persons in any State or Territory conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof; or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave any State, district, or place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties;

    1985.2. Obstructing justice; intimidating party, witness, or juror

    If two or more persons in any State or Territory conspire to deter, by force, intimidation, or threat, any party or witness in any court of the United States from attending such court, or from testifying to any matter pending therein, freely, fully, and truthfully, or to injure such party or witness in his person or property on account of his having so attended or testified, or to influence the verdict, presentment, or indictment of any grand or petit juror in any such court, or to injure such juror in his person or property on account of any verdict, presentment, or indictment lawfully assented to by him, or of his being or having been such juror; or if two or more persons conspire for the purpose of impeding, hindering, obstructing, or defeating, in any manner, the due course of justice in any State or Territory, with intent to deny to any citizen the equal protection of the laws, or to injure him or his property for lawfully enforcing, or attempting to enforce, the right of any person, or class of persons, to the equal protection of the laws;

    1985.3. Depriving persons of rights or privileges

    If two or more persons in any State or Territory conspire or go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another, for the purpose of depriving, either directly or indirectly, any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws; or for the purpose of preventing or hindering the constituted authorities of any State or Territory from giving or securing to all persons within such State or Territory the equal protection of the laws; or if two or more persons conspire to prevent by force, intimidation, or threat, any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote, from giving his support or advocacy in a legal manner, toward or in favor of the election of any lawfully qualified person as an elector for President or Vice President, or as a Member of Congress of the United States; or to injure any citizen in person or property on account of such support or advocacy; in any case of conspiracy set forth in this section, if one or more persons engaged therein do, or cause to be done, any act in furtherance of the object of such conspiracy, whereby another is injured in his person or property, or deprived of having and exercising any right or privilege of a citizen of the United States, the party so injured or deprived may have an action for the recovery of damages occasioned by such injury or deprivation, against any one or more of the conspirators.

    1986 Action for neglect to prevent

    Every person who, having knowledge that any of the wrongs conspired to be done, and mentioned in section 1985 of this title, are about to be committed, and having power to prevent or aid in preventing the commission of the same, neglects or refuses so to do, if such wrongful act be committed, shall be liable to the party injured, or his legal representatives, for all damages caused by such wrongful act, which such person by reasonable diligence could have prevented; and such damages may be recovered in an action on the case; and any number of persons guilty of such wrongful neglect or refusal may be joined as defendants in the action; and if the death of any party be caused by any such wrongful act and neglect, the legal representatives of the deceased shall have such action therefor, and may recover not exceeding $5,000 damages therein, for the benefit of the widow of the deceased, if there be one, and if there be no widow, then for the benefit of the next of kin of the deceased. But no action under the provisions of this section shall be sustained which is not commenced within one year after the cause of action has accrued.

    1987. Prosecution of violation of certain laws

    The United States attorneys, marshals, and deputy marshals, the United States magistrate judges appointed by the district and territorial courts, with power to arrest, imprison, or bail offenders, and every other officer who is especially empowered by the President, are authorized and required, at the expense of the United States, to institute prosecutions against all persons violating any of the provisions of section 1990 of this title or of sections 5506 to 5516 and 5518 to 5532 of the Revised Statutes, and to cause such persons to be arrested, and imprisoned or bailed, for trial before the court of the United States or the territorial court having cognizance of the offense.

    1988. Proceedings in vindication of civil rights

    1988.a. Applicability of statutory and common law

    The jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters conferred on the district courts by the provisions of titles 13, 24, and 70 of the Revised Statutes for the protection of all persons in the United States in their civil rights, and for their vindication, shall be exercised and enforced in conformity with the laws of the United States, so far as such laws are suitable to carry the same into effect; but in all cases where they are not adapted to the object, or are deficient in the provisions necessary to furnish suitable remedies and punish offenses against law, the common law, as modified and changed by the constitution and statutes of the State wherein the court having jurisdiction of such civil or criminal cause is held, so far as the same is not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States, shall be extended to and govern the said courts in the trial and disposition of the cause, and, if it is of a criminal nature, in the infliction of punishment on the party found guilty.

    1988.b. Attorney's fees

    In any action or proceeding to enforce a provision of sections 1981, 1981a, 19821983, 1985, and 1986 of this title, title IX of Public Law 92-318 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.), title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), or section 13981 of this title,, (FOOTNOTE 1) the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs. (FOOTNOTE 1) So in original.

    1988.c. Expert fees

    In awarding an attorney's fee under subsection (b) of this section in any action or proceeding to enforce a provision of section 1981 or 1981a of this title, the court, in its discretion, may include expert fees as part of the attorney's fee.

    1989 United States magistrate judges; appointment of persons to execute warrants

    The district courts of the United States and the district courts of the Territories, from time to time, shall increase the number of United States magistrate judges, so as to afford a speedy and convenient means for the arrest and examination of persons charged with the crimes referred to in section 1987 of this title; and such magistrate judges are authorized and required to exercise all the powers and duties conferred on them herein with regard to such offenses in like manner as they are authorized by law to exercise with regard to other offenses against the laws of the United States. Said magistrate judges are empowered, within their respective counties, to appoint, in writing, under their hands, one or more suitable persons, from time to time, who shall execute all such warrants or other process as the magistrate judges may issue in the lawful performance of their duties, and the persons so appointed shall have authority to summon and call to their aid the bystanders or posse comitatus of the proper county, or such portion of the land or naval forces of the United States, or of the militia, as may be necessary to the performance of the duty with which they are charged; and such warrants shall run and be executed anywhere in the State or Territory within which they are issued.

    1990 Marshal to obey precepts; refusing to receive or execute process

    Every marshal and deputy marshal shall obey and execute all warrants or other process, when directed to him, issued under the provisions of section 1989 of this title. Every marshal and deputy marshal who refuses to receive any warrant or other process when tendered to him, issued in pursuance of the provisions of this section, or refuses or neglects to use all proper means diligently to execute the same, shall be liable to a fine in the sum of $1,000, for the benefit of the party aggrieved thereby.

    1991 Fees; persons appointed to execute process

    Every person appointed to execute process under section 1989 of this title shall be entitled to a fee of $5 for each party he may arrest and take before any United States magistrate judge, with such other fees as may be deemed reasonable by the magistrate judge for any additional services necessarily performed by him, such as attending at the examination, keeping the prisoner in custody, and providing him with food and lodging during his detention, and until the final determination of the magistrate judge; such fees to be made up in conformity with the fees usually charged by the officers of the courts of justice within the proper district or county, as near as may be practicable, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States on the certificate of the judge of the district within which the arrest is made, and to be recoverable from the defendant as part of the judgment in case of conviction.

    1992 Speedy trial

    Whenever the President has reason to believe that offenses have been, or are likely to be committed against the provisions of section 1990 of this title or of section 5506 to 5516 and 5518 to 5532 of the Revised Statutes, within any judicial district, it shall be lawful for him, in his discretion, to direct the judge, marshal, and United States attorney of such district to attend at such place within the district, and for such time as he may designate, for the purpose of the more speedy arrest and trial of persons so charged, and it shall be the duty of every judge or other officer, when any such requisition is received by him to attend at the place and for the time therein designated.

    1993 Repealed.

    Pub. L. 85-315, pt. III, Sec. 122, Sept. 9, 1957, 71 Stat. 637

    1994 Peonage abolished

    The holding of any person to service or labor under the system known as peonage is abolished and forever prohibited in any Territory or State of the United States; and all acts, laws, resolutions, orders, regulations, or usages of any Territory or State, which have heretofore established, maintained, or enforced, or by virtue of which any attempt shall hereafter be made to establish, maintain, or enforce, directly or indirectly, the voluntary or involuntary service or labor of any persons as peons, in liquidation of any debt or obligation, or otherwise, are declared null and void.

    1995 Criminal contempt proceedings; penalties; trial by jury

    In all cases of criminal contempt arising under the provisions of this Act, the accused, upon conviction, shall be punished by fine or imprisonment or both: Provided however, That in case the accused is a natural person the fine to be paid shall not exceed the sum of $1,000, nor shall imprisonment exceed the term of six months: Provided further, That in any such proceeding for criminal contempt, at the discretion of the judge, the accused may be tried with or without a jury: Provided further, however, That in the event such proceeding for criminal contempt be tried before a judge without a jury and the sentence of the court upon conviction is a fine in excess of the sum of $300 or imprisonment in excess of forty-five days, the accused in said proceeding, upon demand therefore, shall be entitled to a trial de novo before a jury, which shall conform as near as may be to the practice in other criminal cases.

    This section shall not apply to contempts committed in the presence of the court or so near thereto as to interfere directly with the administration of justice nor to the misbehavior, misconduct, or disobedience, of any officer of the court in respect to the writs, orders, or process of the court.

    Nor shall anything herein or in any other provision of law be construed to deprive courts of their power, by civil contempt proceedings, without a jury, to secure compliance with or to prevent obstruction of, as distinguished from punishment for violations of, any lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command of the court in accordance with the prevailing usages of law and equity, including the power of detention.

    1996 Protection and preservation of traditional religions of Native Americans

    On and after August 11, 1978, it shall be the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.

    1996a Traditional Indian religious use of peyote

    1996a.a. Congressional findings and declarations

    The Congress finds and declares that -

    1996a.a(1) for many Indian people, the traditional ceremonial use of the peyote cactus as a religious sacrament has for centuries been integral to a way of life, and significant in perpetuating Indian tribes and cultures;

    1996a.a(2) since 1965, this ceremonial use of peyote by Indians has been protected by Federal regulation;

    1996a.a(3) while at least 28 States have enacted laws which are similar to, or are in conformance with, the Federal regulation which protects the ceremonial use of peyote by Indian religious practitioners, 22 States have not done so, and this lack of uniformity has created hardship for Indian people who participate in such religious ceremonies;

    1996a.a(4) the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), held that the First Amendment does not protect Indian practitioners who use peyote in Indian religious ceremonies, and also raised uncertainty whether this religious practice would be protected under the compelling State interest standard; and

    1996a.a(5) the lack of adequate and clear legal protection for the religious use of peyote by Indians may serve to stigmatize and marginalize Indian tribes and cultures, and increase the risk that they will be exposed to discriminatory treatment.

    1996a.b. Use, possession, or transportation of peyote

    1996a.b(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any State. No Indian shall be penalized or discriminated against on the basis of such use, possession or transportation, including, but not limited to, denial of otherwise applicable benefits under public assistance programs.

    1996a.b(2) This section does not prohibit such reasonable regulation and registration by the Drug Enforcement Administration of those persons who cultivate, harvest, or distribute peyote as may be consistent with the purposes of this section and section 1996 of this title.

    1996a.b(3) This section does not prohibit application of the provisions of section 481.111(a) of Vernon's Texas Health and Safety Code Annotated, in effect on October 6, 1994, insofar as those provisions pertain to the cultivation, harvest, and distribution of peyote.

    1996a.b(4) Nothing in this section shall prohibit any Federal department or agency, in carrying out its statutory responsibilities and functions, from promulgating regulations establishing reasonable limitations on the use or ingestion of peyote prior to or during the performance of duties by sworn law enforcement officers or personnel directly involved in public transportation or any other safety-sensitive positions where the performance of such duties may be adversely affected by such use or ingestion. Such regulations shall be adopted only after consultation with representatives of traditional Indian religions for which the sacramental use of peyote is integral to their practice.

    Any regulation promulgated pursuant to this section shall be subject to the balancing test set forth in section 3 of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103-141; 42 U.S.C. 2000bb-1).

    1996a.b(5) This section shall not be construed as requiring prison authorities to permit, nor shall it be construed to prohibit prison authorities from permitting, access to peyote by Indians while incarcerated within Federal or State prison facilities.

    1996a.b(6) Subject to the provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103-141; 42 U.S.C. 2000bb-1) (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.), this section shall not be construed to prohibit States from enacting or enforcing reasonable traffic safety laws or regulations.

    1996a.b(7) Subject to the provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103-141; 42 U.S.C. 2000bb-1), this section does not prohibit the Secretary of Defense from promulgating regulations establishing reasonable limitations on the use, possession, transportation, or distribution of peyote to promote military readiness, safety, or compliance with international law or laws of other countries. Such regulations shall be adopted only after consultation with representatives of traditional Indian religions for which the sacramental use of peyote is integral to their practice.

    1996a.c. Definitions

    For purposes of this section -

    1996a.c(1) the term "Indian" means a member of an Indian tribe;

    1996a.c(2) the term "Indian tribe" means any tribe, band, nation, pueblo, or other organized group or community of Indians, including any Alaska Native village (as defined in, or established pursuant to, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians;

    1996a.c(3) the term "Indian religion" means any religion -

    1996a.c.3(A) which is practiced by Indians, and

    1996a.c.3(B) the origin and interpretation of which is from within a traditional Indian culture or community; and

    1996a.c(4) the term "State" means any State of the United States, and any political subdivision thereof.

    1996a.d. Protection of rights of Indians and Indian tribes

    Nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating, diminishing, or otherwise affecting -

    1996a.d(1) the inherent rights of any Indian tribe;

    1996a.d(2) the rights, express or implicit, of any Indian tribe which exist under treaties, Executive orders, and laws of the United States;

    1996a.d(3) the inherent right of Indians to practice their religions; and

    1996a.d(4) the right of Indians to practice their religions under any Federal or State law.

     

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