Federal laws define protections for the civil rights of US citizens in the United States. These laws supersede State laws and procedural codes if code happens to violate civil rights, or if an individual acting as a public agent, violates the civil rights of any US citizen. The statute is contained in Title 18, U.S.C.
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 249 - Hate Crimes Prevention Act, makes it a hate crime to willfully cause bodily injury because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin of any person.
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241 - Conspiracy Against Rights, makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States.
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242 - Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law, makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S.
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 245 - Federally Protected Activities,
1) This statute prohibits willful injury, intimidation, or interference, or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force of any person or class of persons because of their activity as:
A voter, or person qualifying to vote...;
a participant in any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility, or activity provided or administered by the United States;
an applicant for federal employment or an employee by the federal government;
a juror or prospective juror in federal court; and
a participant in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
2) Prohibits willful injury, intimidation, or interference or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force of any person because of race, color, religion, or national origin and because of his/her activity as:
A student or applicant for admission to any public school or public college;
a participant in any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility, or activity provided or administered by a state or local government;
an applicant for private or state employment, private or state employee; a member or applicant for membership in any labor organization or hiring hall; or an applicant for employment through any employment agency, labor organization or hiring hall;
a juror or prospective juror in state court;
a traveler or user of any facility of interstate commerce or common carrier; or
a patron of any public accommodation, including hotels, motels, restaurants, lunchrooms, bars, gas stations, theaters...or any other establishment which serves the public and which is principally engaged in selling food or beverages for consumption on the premises.
3) Prohibits interference by force or threat of force against any person because he/she is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or class of persons from participating or affording others the opportunity or protection to so participate, or lawfully aiding or encouraging other persons to participate in any of the benefits or activities listed in items (1) and (2), above without discrimination as to race, color, religion, or national origin.
A more complete explanation of Federal Civil Rights Statutes and protections can be found here.
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