Section 1983 is one of the most important civil rights laws on the books; tens of thousands of plaintiffs file Section 1983 cases each year seeking to hold state and local officials to account for unconstitutional conduct ranging from excessive force and false arrest, to violations of free speech rights and much else. But where does the law come from? In this episode, we explore the origins of Section 1983, or, as it was originally called, Section One of the Ku Klux Klan Act 1871.

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