Constitutional Law Attorney
Asserting your rights. Enforcing your options.
The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the cornerstones of the relationship between the federal and state governments and between individuals and those governments. D. Gayle Loftis has experience in understanding and applying court decisions that interpret the Constitution and its amendments in areas such as affirmative action and discrimination, religion, search and seizure protections, prisoners' rights and the individual's rights of association.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Preamble to the Constitution of the United States
The first ten amendments to the Constitution comprise the Bill of Rights which affords the rights and individual freedoms which follow, and are made applicable to the states by means of the 14th amendment. The first ten amendments, together with the 14th, are:
1st amendment—asserts the freedoms of religion, speech, press, petition, peaceable assembly, and association
2nd amendment—asserts the right to bear arms
3rd amendment—prohibits forced quartering of soldiers
4th amendment—prohibits unreasonable search and seizure
5th amendment—protects against self incrimination and double jeopardy; asserts due process
6th amendment—asserts the right to a fair and speedy trial by jury
7th amendment—asserts the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases
8th amendment—prohibits excessive fines, jail time, or cruel and unusual punishment
9th amendment—asserts the existence of unenumerated rights
10th amendment—limits federal powers to those defined within Constitution
14th amendment—defines citizenship, prohibits the deprivation of due process, and requires equal protection
The 14th amendment's Citizenship Clause broadly defines citizenship and overrules Dred Scott v. Sanford, the 1857 court case that prohibited black individuals from becoming U.S. citizens. Its Due Process Clause bars state and local governments from depriving individuals and corporations of life, liberty, or property without first taking certain steps. This clause recognized procedural and substantive rights owed to all persons, and effectively made most of the Bill of Rights applicable to every state. Lastly, the Equal Protection Clause made it a requirement for state governments to provide equal protection to everyone under its jurisdiction. It formed the basis for Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case regarding racial segregation.
Violations of those rights may be remedied pursuant to federal law under 42 U.S.C. Section § 1983.
"Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity..." 42 U.S.C. Section § 1983
Attorney D. Gayle Loftis makes it a priority to defend her clients in civil rights and constitutional law cases. Her representative casework includes:
- United States of America v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 907 F2d 277 (2d Cir. 1990)
- Printing Mart-Morristown v. Sharp Electronics Corp., 563 A.2d 31 (N.J. 1989)
- Printing Mart-Morristown, Inc. v. Rosenthal, 650 F. Supp. 1444 (D.N.J. 1987)
- Matter of Positive Directions Unlimited, 56 B.R. 421 (B.N.J. 1985)
- McGovern vs. City of Jersey City, 2006 U.S. District Lexis 72405
- Frank v. County of Hudson, 924 F. Supp. 620 (1996)
Call on attorney D. Gayle Loftis to help you assert and enforce your constitutional rights: (201) 289-8904.
From offices located in Hackensack, we proudly serve Bergen and Hudson Counties.