People often talk about their civil rights, but many people do not fully understand what this means. Civil rights are a privilege given to people under the law, according to the Legal Information Institute.
In the United States, people get their civil rights through legislation. Nobody can deny you your rights, and if they do, you have the ability to bring a lawsuit.
Rights vs liberties
There is some confusion between civil rights and liberties. They are similar, but the main difference is rights are legal protections whereas liberties are freedoms. You get civil rights through laws, and civil liberties come from the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution.
There are some distinctive laws that afford civil rights to Americans. These include amendments to the constitution, such as the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. At the time of the passing of these amendments, the country was going through the Civil War, so the focus was on providing equal rights to everyone despite race. During this period, other laws went into effect protecting former slaves.
One of the biggest pieces of legislation is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This helped to integrate the U.S. and end discrimination based on race. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 strengthened the protections of vulnerable groups of Americans. States also pass laws that help to protect or extend civil rights.
In general civil rights are protections. They help eliminate discrimination and ensure every American can live freely. These rights are something you can fight for in court if you feel there has been a violation.