Difference Between Civil Rights And Civil Liberties

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Harvey 1 Greg Harvey Professor Sharifian GOVT 2305-73012 February 11, 2018 Civil Rights vs Civil Liberties Many people, including myself struggle with the difference between civil rights and civil liberties. When I first started my research, I was still struggling with the differences. Civil liberties are much easier for me to grasp than civil rights. 1 Civil liberties have a very clear definition. According to UShistory.org, “Civil liberties are protections against government actions”. One interesting thing that I encountered while starting this project is that, according to this definition, the Bill of Rights is mostly civil liberties, not civil rights. This left me asking what are civil rights really then? As I continued to read, I discovered that civil rights are actions by the government to make sure that people have equal opportunity. It seems to be that civil rights are more frequently decided by Supreme Court cases than the constitution itself. In a supreme court case its one person’s right is up against another’s and the court must decide which view allows for more equality. Civil liberties are protections that we all have while civil rights are meant to make sure that all Americans have equal chance. In Barron v. Baltimore “the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution 's Bill of Rights restricts only the powers of the federal government and not those of the state governments.” This was a very important decision in the history of civil liberties. This basically
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