Friday, December 28, 2007


CIVIL RIGHTS As generally understood, civil rights are those rights belonging to an individual by virtue of his or her status as a citizen or as a member of civil society. In the United States, many authorities attempt to distinguish between civil rights and civil liberties, although many others equate the terms or at least fail to differentiate between them. In the case of those seeking to distinguish between the two terms, civil rights is most often defined as racial equality before the law as stated and guaranteed by the Civil War amendments and subsequent amendments to the Constitution as well as pertinent legislation (e.g., Civil Rights Acts) and judicial decisions. Civil liberties, on the other hand, are taken to mean those guarantees of the original Bill of Rights (e.g., the freedoms of religion, speech, and of the press) and those of state constitutions.

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