July 8, 2014
Did the Civil Rights Act change the Constitution?
Other laws, of course, have also helped shape the country. But the Civil Rights Act is different in one major way: for many Americans born since its passage, it is very difficult to imagine political and social life without it. Imagine the United States losing the Civil Rights Act’s bans on employment discrimination, or on the segregation of public places. Imagine us giving up its tools for the integration of schools and other public facilities. For a lot of people, it’s nearly unthinkable. Indeed, there’s an argument to be made that the Civil Rights Act is in this way so different from most other laws—that it’s so different in kind—that it’s that it’s just a different variety of thing .