The Civil Rights

Remember that civil liberties are your individual rights that come from the Bill of Rights or first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. They focus on you as an individual and choices you may make such as religion, speech, assembly, rights of the accused and due process. Civil Rights still has individuals with the addition of group classifications, but the emphasis is equal treatment, and the notion is that there should not be different treatment or discrimination based on certain groups that we call protected groups by the government and in most cases businesses open to the public.Protected groups include race, ethnicity and national origin. There are some protections offered to gender, sexual orientation and disability as well.  Other groups may have less or no protections such as age, height or weight.  Remember that the Amendments always apply to the government but may not always apply in the same way to private persons.  For example, someone could form a private club with only one gender or religion as long as it is not using public money or funding.Many issues related to civil rights remain in the news this year as we continue to interpret and define the meaning of the 14th Amendment equal protection clause and laws are passed at the federal and state levels. While the 14th Amendment notes equal protection under the law, in other words we could have the same protections from government intrusion or punishment if we violate the law, it has been further expanded in meaning to include equal access to society’s opportunities and equal access to public facilities.Many areas are still subject to discussion, protest and organization to help attain or maintain issues of equity and equality in a variety of areas such as voting, education, housing and job opportunities.  Further there have been social and political movements such as the Farmworkers Union and Black Lives Matter.  Recent discussions and legislative developments have included reparations and transgender issues as well.What definition should be used to both address and determine equality?  At what point do you believe that we could say that equality has been reached/Which of the current civil rights to be the most important to be addressed?  Explain why.Please identify which issue you believe will be most likely addressed in the next year or decade.  How do you believe it will be addressed and at what level of government?


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