top of page

Rep. Rashida Tlaib Introducing Bill to Change the Definition of ‘Sex’ in Civil Rights Laws

Rep. Rashida Tlaib is introducing a bill that seeks to change the definition of “sex” in Civil Rights laws.

Tlaib hopes to change the definition of “sex” to include “sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity, sex stereotypes, or any sex-related traits.”

The Justice for All (JFA) Act of 2022 would restore and expand protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Rep. Tlaib intends to roll back requirements to prove discriminatory intent and allow lawsuits based on “disparate impact.” In other words, putting feelings before facts.

“The JFA Act includes a private right of action and a prohibition on forced arbitration, both essential to allowing victims of discrimination, actual or perceived, to vindicate their rights, enjoin discriminatory behavior, and/or receive an award of damages and attorneys’ fees,” Rep. Tlaib’s office said in a press release.

The first item listed in their summary of the bill is “Amending the aforementioned civil rights laws to prohibit actions which have a discriminatory effect, regardless of any discriminatory intent, and providing tools – including a private right of action – to combat intentional and unintentional discrimination against people based on (actual or perceived) race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, or national origin.”

In other words, allow lawsuits even if the discrimination was unintended or unintentional.

The bill would also eliminate qualified immunity for government employees and establish that units of government are liable for the acts of their officials, including police officers who “violate people’s civil rights.” The bill also prohibits racial and gender profiling in police investigations and activity.

The press release states that “Tlaib’s reintroduction of Justice For All comes amid the ongoing conservative assault on civil rights and against the backdrop of a Republican Party in full embrace of fascism.”

“GOP-held states around the country have renewed sweeping attacks on women, racial minorities, and LGBTQ+ Americans, and we cannot sit idly by,” the press release continued. “The text of the bill has been updated for 2022 to respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Egbert and make clear that Section 1983 applies to federal actors and agents. For Tlaib, Justice For All is civil rights legislation with revolutionary potential, providing people of all identities and backgrounds the tools they need to fight the most insidious discrimination we see in our communities.”

This is not the first time that the “Squad” member tried to pass this legislation, but it has been revamped for 2022.

“Our 21st century civil rights movement is big, loud, and strong – and now we need the legal tools that will allow us to fight back in the courts,” Congresswoman Tlaib said in a statetment. “Justice For All aims to restore the original intent of our civil rights laws to fight discrimination by returning power to the people to take on the bias they face every day – in things like rejected mortgage applications, unfair car insurance rates, and racial profiling by the police. We have spent years working with lawyers on the front lines of protecting our rights to hone this legislation that meets the injustices of today with the spirit of the civil rights warriors who came before us. We won’t stop until we get Justice For All.”

The bill is co-sponsored by fellow “Squad” member Rep. Cori Bush.

“All people deserve to be seen, served, and have their rights protected. Our civil rights can’t be left up to the discretion of an increasingly far-right extremist judiciary,” said Congresswoman Bush in a statement. “I am proud to cosponsor my sister-in-service Rep. Tlaib’s Justice For All Act because it is an opportunity for Congress to meaningfully move us toward a more just and equitable future for all. By expanding landmark civil rights protections, we can empower individuals to defend our civil rights, protect our communities from discrimination, and hold our courts accountable.”


bottom of page