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What are Civil Rights?
Civil Rights are the protections and privileges of personal liberty given to all citizens by law. Civil rights are distinguished from “human rights” or “Natural Rights”—Civil Rights are rights that are bestowed by nations on those within their territorial boundaries, while natural or human rights are rights that many scholars claim ought to belong to all people.
In the United States, for example, laws protecting civil rights appear in the Constitution, in the amendments to the Constitution (particularly the 13th and 14th Amendments), in federal statutes, in state constitutions and statutes and even in the ordinances of counties and cities.
The United States Constitution guarantees every American citizen certain civil rights of personal liberty. Among these fundamental civil rights and liberties are the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, and to petition the government, and the rights to bear arms, to procedural due process, and to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures and cruel and unusual punishments. Unfair treatment alone does not necessarily involve a violation of civil rights and liberties. It’s discrimination only if you’re treated unfairly because you have one of the characteristics protected by the Constitution, such as age, disability, race, religion, or sex.
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