The topic of civil liberties would include a discussion of:
- freedom of expression (speech)
- freedom from arbitrary arrest
- freedom of religion
- right to vote
- right to privacy
- freedom from discrimination
- unreasonable search and seizure
- due process
- equal protection under the law, as it pertains to race, sex (including lesbian and gay rights), abortion, disability
From the U.S. Constitution
The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, enumerates our basic civil rights:
First: Provides for freedom of worship, of speech, of the press, of assembly, and of petition to the government for redress of grievances.
Second: Grants the right to bear arms.
Third: Grants freedom from quartering soldiers in a house without the owner's consent.
Fourth: Protects people against unreasonable search and seizure, a safeguard only recently extended to the states.
Fifth: Provides that no person shall be held for "a capital or otherwise infamous crime" without indictment, be twice put in "jeopardy of life or limb" for the same offense, be compelled to testify against himself, or "be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law."
Sixth: Guarantees the right of speedy and public trial by an impartial jury in all criminal proceedings.
Seventh: Guarantees the right of trial by jury in almost all common-law suits.
Eighth: Prohibits excessive bail, fines and "cruel and unusual" punishment.
Ninth: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
Tenth: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- 9-11 Commission
- clear and present danger
- enemy combatant
- freedom of speech
- Gilmore Commission
- Patriot Act I
- Patriot Act II
- Patriot Act abuses
- Treating dissent as treason
- Using fear as a political tool
- war on freedom
- Ashcroft, the PATRIOT ACT & Lost American Freedoms, againstbombing.com.
- Civil Liberties, globalpolicy.org. Contains links to numerous articles.
- Civil Liberties During Wartime, USNews.
- Civil Liberties and the War on Terrorism.
- Civil Liberties, stateaction.org.
- Richard Tyler, European Union to restrict civil liberties, wsws.org, September 25, 2001.
- Terrorism Bill Fails to Protect Civil Liberties, corpwatch, October 4, 2001.
- Robert Lovato, Anti-terrorist Legislation Must Be Watched Carefully, alternet, October 22, 2001.
- Civil Liberties Under the USA-PATRIOT Act of 2001. An Overview of the Act and its Potential Impact, acluohio.org, December 3, 2002.
- Bob Zimmerman, The truth behind the American invasion of Iraq: The Bush administration's evolving global nightmare, impeach-bush-now.org, April 7, 2003: "When did 'democracy' become an American export; a commodity installed wherever we see fit by means of overwhelming force?"
- Jim Cornehls, The USA Patriot Act: The Assault on Civil Liberties, Global Policy, July/August 2003.
- Civil Liberties & Human Rights, FCNL Library Friends Network, Volume 1, No. 7, August 13, 2003.
- Justin Raimondo, The Health of the State, American Conservative, September 22, 2003: "While our President's favorite word is 'freedom,' his administration has disempowered judges from releasing those who have been jailed without charge, refused Congressional oversight, impounded private communications, secretly searched private dwellings, and lowered 'an iron curtain of secrecy around all federal agencies.'"
- Chuck Baldwin, War On Terrorism Means Perpetual Attack On Liberties, marihemp.com, October 19, 2003.
- Al Gore, "Freedom and Security". Speech presented to the American Constitution Society, November 9, 2003.
- Ronald Brownstein, Gore Urges Repeal of Patriot Act. Former vice president lashes out at Bush, accusing him of 'mass violations of civil liberties' and weakening the nation's security, Los Angeles Times, November 10, 2003.
- Clarence Page, All of a sudden the Patriot Act isn't just about terrorists anymore, SaltLakeTribune, November 15, 2003.
- Eric Lichtblau, Lawmakers Approve Expansion of F.B.I.'s Antiterrorism Powers, New York Times, November 20, 2003: ""I'm concerned about this," [Senator, D-IL] Richard C. Durbin said in an interview. 'The idea of expanding the powers of government gives everyone pause except the Republican leadership.'"
- Shannon McCaffrey, Justice Dept.'s Civil Rights Division Retreating from Activist Roots, Knight-Ridder, November 21, 2003.
- Bush Signs Bill Expanding FBI Authority, AP, December 14, 2003: "The bill expands the number of businesses from which the FBI and other U.S. authorities conducting intelligence work can demand financial records without seeking court approval. ... Under current law, 'national security letters' can be issued to traditional financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, to require them to turn over information. The bill expands the definition of financial institution to include other businesses that deal with large amounts of cash."
- Terror Panel Seeks Civil Liberties Board, AP, December 14, 2003: "President Bush should appoint an advisory board to assess how new anti-terrorism measures such as the Patriot Act have affected Americans' civil liberties, a new report by a federal terrorism commission ... led by former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore, a Republican, also expresses concern that the Bush administration has failed to develop a comprehensive, forward-looking strategy to combat terrorism more than two years after the 2001 terrorist attacks. .. Details of the report, to be released Monday, were first reported by Time magazine on its Web site Saturday [December 13, 2003]."
- Terrorism and Liberty, New York Times Op-Ed, December 23, 2003: "After four years of work, a federal commission on terrorism issued its final report last week. The report was unremarkable except for one recommendation that shone brightly through the usual thicket of bureaucratic prose. Aggressive antiterrorism policies, the report suggested, when combined with increasingly sophisticated surveillance technologies, could have a 'chilling effect' on the right to privacy and other fundamental civil liberties. To prevent that from happening, the commission recommended that the White House establish a bipartisan panel to review how constitutional guarantees would be affected by all new laws and regulations aimed at enhancing national security."
- Dave Lindorff, "Black Helicopters? The GOP's Police State," CounterPunch, May 21/22, 2005.
- Billmon, "Vox Pollsteri," Whiskey Bar, May 13, 2006: "The whole point of having civil liberties is that they are not supposed to be subject to a majority veto." re Bush administration approval ratings