Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

The Quest for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

As you read in the discussion introduction, civil liberties and civil rights are salient rights enshrined by the U.S. Constitution, subsequent congressional legislation, executive actions, and judicial decisions. Whereas many times civil liberties and civil rights are used interchangeably, the two terms are distinct.

Many civil liberties and civil rights are either directly written into the U.S. Constitution or later legislated by an Act of Congress. That said, many of America’s important civil liberties and civil rights are the result of Supreme Court decisions.

With this in mind, in the Unit 6 Assignment, you will write an essay analyzing the judicial intersection of civil rights and civil liberties.

Directions: Write a 400 word, APA-formatted expository essay that addresses the following:

  • Identify the distinction between civil liberties and civil rights.
  • Identify where civil liberties are addressed within the U.S. Constitution.
  • Identify where civil rights are addressed within the U.S. Constitution.
  • Select two Supreme Court cases from the Supreme Court Case List: one case that concerns civil liberties and one case that concerns civil rights.
  • For both selected Supreme Court cases:
    • Identify the historical circumstances of the Supreme Court Case.
      • Speculate as to why the Supreme Court justices decided to hear this case.
    • Explain the Supreme Court’s decision.
      • Explain how this Supreme Court case discussed the U.S. Constitution, subsequent federal and state laws, and/or lower court judicial decisions.
      • How did this Supreme Court case affect the legislative, executive, and/or judicial branches?
    • Evaluate the resulting impact of the Supreme Court case on U.S. society.
      • Do you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court decision?
    • Evaluate the resulting impact of the Supreme Court case on you.
      • Why did the Supreme Court case interest you?
      • How does this Supreme Court case affect you and society?
 

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