Definition[edit | edit source]

Civil rights are

those rights and privileges of citizenship and equal protection that the state is constitutionally bound to guarantee all citizens regardless of race, religion, sex, or other characteristics unrelated to the worth of the individual. Protection of civil rights imposes an affirmative obligation upon government to promote equal protection under the law. These civil rights to personal liberty are guaranteed to all United States citizens by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments and by acts of Congress.[1]

Overview[edit | edit source]

The term "civil rights" is used to imply that the state has a role in ensuring all citizens have equal protection under the law and equal opportunity to exercise the privileges of citizenship regardless of race, religion, gender, or other characteristics unrelated to the worth of the individual. Civil rights are, therefore, obligations imposed upon government to promote equality. More specifically, they are the rights to personal liberty guaranteed to all United States citizens by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments and by acts of Congress.[2]

Generally, the term civil rights involves positive (or affirmative) government action to protect against infringement, while the term civil liberties involves restrictions on government.

References[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

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