The Catholic University of America

Summary of Federal Laws

Students

Non-Discrimination with Respect to Students

CUA Compliance Partners

VP for Enrollment Management

Related Policies

Admission to Undergraduate Study

Civil Rights Act of 1866

42 U.S.C. § 1981

In part, 42 USC 1981 provides as follows:

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. 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.

This law has been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit racial discrimination in admissions. See Runyon v. McCrary, 427 U.S. 160 (1976).

A claim alleging deprivation of rights under 42 USC 1981 can only be based on intentional discrimination. Gen. Bldg. Contractors Association v. Pa., 458 U.S. 375, 391 (1982)

Selected Case Law

Ali v. Stetson University, Case No. 6:03-cv-975 (M.D. Florida-Orlando Division)

In this case plaintiff alleged breach of contract as well as discrimination based on race, ancestry and ethnicity in violation of 42 USC 1981. The plaintiff claimed Stetson expelled him from the University for discriminatory reasons. Stetson moved for summary judgment, and won. The Court accepted Stetson's assertion that the decision was not discriminatory, but rather based upon two factors, Ali's arrest for a firearm offense that involved the threat of violence, and the amount of the bond.

 
 
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