From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: 'FAIRNESS Act Would Restore the Promise of Opportunity and Equality for All'

February 11, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on a civil rights bill introduced by senior Democrats today. The bill is called FAIRNESS: The Civil Rights Act of 2004:

"I am proud to join my Democratic colleagues, John Lewis, John Conyers, Rosa DeLauro, and George Miller, as an original cosponsor of the FAIRNESS Act to restore the promise of opportunity and equality for all.

"Years of struggle and the efforts of millions of Americans made civil rights protections a reality and brought our country closer to achieving our ideals of equality and opportunity for all. Yet as we prepare to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we must recognize that recent court cases have undercut civil rights protections in unacceptable ways.

"Our courts have a responsibility to protect Americans from discrimination and to ensure fair treatment of workers. But rather than being the guardians of our basic civil rights and labor laws, ideological court rulings have quietly but effectively dismantled these rights.

"The FAIRNESS Act would restore many years of settled law and reassert the authority of Congress to remedy discrimination and ensure fair treatment of workers. It would overturn court decisions that hold employers harmless for unfair labor practices committed against undocumented workers. It would provide the same remedies to victims of intentional gender, disability, and religious discrimination as those afforded to victims of intentional race discrimination. And it would enhance protections for older workers and strengthen enforcement of the Equal Pay Act.

"We must pass this bill to send a clear message that Americans do not want to dismantle the civil rights and labor laws that so many have fought so hard to achieve."




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