Civil Rights and Civil Liberties - United States
Civil Rights and Civil LibertiesUnited States: This 6,000-word essay, to be published in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Legal History, considers several issues concerning civil rights and civil liberties in the United States. First, it notes several problems with defining the topic. Second, it examines the historical conditions under which particular rights have gained popularity. Finally, the essay considers several issues involving the judicial enforcement of rights: the inclination and capacity of courts to defend unpopular rights; the enforceability of court decisions protecting rights; the unpredictable consequences of such rulings; and the characteristics of a right that render courts most likely to protect it.
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