The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is labor law legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (public accommodations). Initially, the powers given to enforce the act were weak, but they were supplemented in later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate via several different parts of the Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce, its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws through the 14th Amendment, and its duty to protect voting rights under the 15th Amendment.
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was the culmination of a campaign against housing discrimination and was approved at the urging of President Johnson, one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Its primary prohibition makes it unlawful to refuse to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person because of that person's inclusion in a protected class. The goal is a unitary housing market in which a person's background (as opposed to financial resources) does not arbitrarily restrict access. Calls for open housing were issued early in the twentieth century, but it was not until after World War II that concerted efforts to achieve it were undertaken. While the act stopped some of the more egregious instances of housing discrimination, it should be noted that we are far from fair when it comes to housing and one's ability to obtain it. Race is still an issue and has been despite the efforts made through the acts listed here.
Notable Supreme Court Cases: