Government » American Civil Liberties and Rights » What Are Civil Rights and How Do We Identify Them?

Summary and Main Ideas

Practice Questions

  1. What is the difference between civil rights and civil liberties?

Glossary

affirmative action: the use of programs and policies designed to assist groups that have historically been subject to discrimination

black codes: laws passed immediately after the Civil War that discriminated against freed slaves and other blacks and deprived them of their rights

equal protection clause: a provision of the Fourteenth Amendment that requires the states to treat all residents equally under the law

intermediate scrutiny: the standard used by the courts to decide cases of discrimination based on gender and sex; burden of proof is on the government to demonstrate an important governmental interest is at stake in treating men differently from women

rational basis test: the standard used by the courts to decide most forms of discrimination; the burden of proof is on those challenging the law or action to demonstrate there is no good reason for treating them differently from other citizens

strict scrutiny: the standard used by the courts to decide cases of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion; burden of proof is on the government to demonstrate a compelling governmental interest is at stake and no alternative means are available to accomplish its goals

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