Outrage Legislation: Civil Rights & Section 1983 at 150 Years

On April 20, 2021 the Center for Judicial Engagement celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Ku Klux Klan Act, also known as the Third Enforcement Act or the Civil Rights Act of 1871, with a Zoom party. The first section of the Act is now known as Section 1983, which allows people to sue state government officials that violate their constitutional rights.

This event included an interview of Paul Finkelman, President of Gratz College discussing the passage of the Act. There followed a discussion of the legal debates surrounding Section 1983 featuring Fred Smith Jr., Associate Professor of Law at Emory School of Law and IJ’s own Anya Bidwell and John Ross. And it concluded with a practical discussion about litigating cases under Section 1983 with Kelsi Brown Corkran of Georgetown Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, civil rights attorney Victor I. Fleitas, and IJ’s Bob McNamara and Anthony Sanders.


Anthony Sanders
Senior Attorney
Robert McNamara
Senior Attorney
Anya Bidwell
John Ross
Editor and Producer, Short Circuit