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The American Citizen
Civil Liberties Information
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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
--
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

[No] State [shall] . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
-- The 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause

No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
-- The 5th Amendment's Due Process Clause

Check out these links for help with your projects in social studies classes!
The ACLU On . . . -- explanations of the American Civil Liberties Union's position on a wide variety of civil rights and civil liberties issues, including affirmative action, lifestyle discrimination in the workplace, violent crime in America, unjust firings at work, popular music under siege, three-strikes-you're-out sentencing programs, racist speech on campus, gun control, national identity cards, abortion clinic access, the federal Freedom of Information Act, school prayer, and immigrants and the economy.
Affirmative Action Debate, The -- an editorial in The Vision, the Independent African-American newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania.
Affirmative Action -- a project by Eli Awtrey, a student at the University of Oregon focusing on "...the status of affirmative action programs in education nationwide and/or worldwide, the results of these programs, the philosophical intentions of the creators, negative results attached with affirmative action programs, and how they can be corrected."
Affirmative Action for U.S. Veterans (38 USC 4142, et. al) -- veterans' employment rights under federal contracts.
Affirmative Action: Who Benefits? -- from the American Psychological Association, "This document integrates and summarizes key points made by several presenters at a briefing given by psychologists and social scientists for members of Congress. Discussion included the varieties of affirmative action policies and how these policies compare with equal employment opportunity policies; current data on workforce participation of women and ethnic minorities, and the barriers these groups face to equal representation in income and employment; research into contemporary forms of racism that affirmative action policies must address; procedural standards employed by courts in evaluating affirmative action programs and means to ensure procedural fairness for all groups; means to ensure that affirmative action policies are balanced and work for everyone; and the historical and political context in which affirmative action programs came into existence."
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 U.S.C. §§ 621 - 634) -- bans employment discrimination based on age for anyone forty years of age or older.
Alliance for Justice -- a coalition "dedicated to securing access to justice, strengthening public interest and the next generation of advocates."
American Civil Liberties Union -- working to "assure that the Bill of Rights are preserved for each new generation."
American Council on Education -- "...the nation's umbrella higher education association... dedicated to the belief that equal educational opportunity and a strong higher education system are essential cornerstones of a democratic society... a forum for the discussion of major issues related to higher education and its potential to contribute to the quality of American life... seeks to advance the interests and goals of higher and adult education in a changing environment by providing leadership and advocacy on important issues, representing the views of the higher and adult education community to policy makers."
American Jewish Committee -- their "basic premise is that the safety and security of Jews must be constantly watched over and never be taken for granted, and that no group can be sure of its rights and freedoms unless those of all groups are respected."
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee -- "a civil rights organization committed to defending the rights of people of Arab descent and promoting their cultural heritage."
Americans With Disabilities Act Document Center -- contains the Act itself, as well as federal guidelines, technical data, and a variety of other documents.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 - 12213) -- gives protections to qualified individuals with disabilities, guarantees equal opportunity in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
Amnesty International -- "contributes to the observance throughout the world of human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
Anti-Defamation League -- "world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry."
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read -- "provides information about challenged and banned books, online from the American Library Association."
Black Church Fires: Resource Guide (GBGM) -- a descriptive list of the burned churches of predominantly Black congregations in the past several years.
The Black Experience in America by Norman Coombs - - the Project Gutenberg Edition -- recounts part of the fight for equality and fair treatment under law in the U.S. by black Americans. This site gives links to download the electronic text in either text or zipped formats, from several worldwide locations, so the visitor can "download" the file and read the entire book via a computer (thanks to Project Gutenberg, it is available online in its entirety). Author Norman Coombs wrote this book in 1993.
Blue Ribbon Campaign for Online Free Speech -- from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, describes itself as the "Grassroots campaign for online intellectual freedom."
Bonfire of Liberties -- If you're interested in the censorship of books over the centuries, this is the Web site for you! It focuses on censorship of the humanities, includes an interactive books exhibition, online from the Texas Humanities Resource Center. Their front page includes this: "The bonfire was a very efficient form of censorship in an age when books were handwritten and existed in few copies. But in the era of printing andmass markets, burning a book has been reduced to merely a shocking gesture. To be effective, censors have had to devise other methods of restricting access to publications deemed offensive or dangerous." This site is heavily graphic, includes many posters, book covers, and other artwork. Topics in the "Outline" include Forms of Censorship, The Public Forum, A Reader's Rights, By Faith Forbidden, Foreclosing Ideas, Much Ado About Drama, Restrictions In Wonderland, Silenced Minorities, A Dangerous Book, and A Dangerous Writer.
Brown v. Board of Education -- online from Cornell University, the complete text of this famous and important U.S. Supreme Court case can be found quickly by searching through the "Historic Supreme Court Decisions - by Party Name" page.
California Civil Rights Initiative -- goal is to "end race- and sex-based quotas, preferences and set-asides in state employment, contracting and education."
Center for Democracy and Technology -- attempts to "develop and advocate public policies that advance constitutional civil liberties and democratic values in new technologies."
Center for Equal Opportunity -- ultra-conservative organization that discusses its own view on three areas in particular: racial preferences, immigration and assimilation, and multicultural education.
Church Burning and Rebuilding -- from the National Council of Churches, a descriptive list of burned churches with predominantly Black congregations in the U.S. during the past few years.
Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights -- "...committed to the revitalization of a progressive civil rights agenda at the national level. Its work is grounded in the belief that such an agenda benefits the entire country, not just particular interest groups."
Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition -- group of "Internet users, library groups, publishers, online service providers and civil liberties groups fighting for the future of the 1st Amendment and freedom of expression in the information age."
Civil Liberties -- from the ever-popular WWW index, About.Com, this Web page includes links to civil liberties sites and related subjects, as well.
Civil Rights -- from the Michigan Electronic Library, links to sites and more.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- full text of the document, online from the U.S. government
Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice -- includes "statements and information relating to civil rights issues from the perspective of the U.S. Department of Justice."
Civil Rights Laws of the United States -- online from Cornell University School of Law.
Civil Rights and Discrimination -- constitutional law materials, equal protection, 1st Amendment, online from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School.
Cryptography Policy Issues Page -- "articles, legislation, and background information on the cryptography policy debate, online from the Center for Democracy and Technology."
Death of Affirmative Action, The -- online (originally) from the Internet journal Meanderings, now called Gravity, a "first-hand account" from one of the benefactors of affirmative action.
Electronic Frontier Foundation -- a non-profit, non-partisan interest group "working in the public interest to protect privacy, free expression, and access to public resources and information online, as well as to promote responsibility in new media."
Electronic Privacy Information Center -- "established . . . to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the 1st Amendment, and constitutional values."
Equal Pay Act of 1963 (29 USC § 206) -- forbids pay differentials based on gender.
Equal Protection: An Overview -- legal issues from the FindLaw Internet Legal Resources.
Feminist Majority Foundation -- "...views feminism as a global movement dedicated to equality and seeks to eliminate discrimination of all kinds -- sex, race, orientation, age, religion, national origin, disability, and marital status. And, like feminists since the late 19th Century, we advocate non-violence and work to eliminate social and economic injustice."
Freedom Forum First Amendment Center -- "News, commentary, analysis and other information on the First Amendment — the cornerstone of democracy, the amendment that keeps us free."
The Glass Ceiling Commission -- "The Glass Ceiling refers to invisible, artificial barriers that prevent qualified individuals from advancing within their organization and reaching full potential. The term originally described the point beyond which women managers and executives, particularly white women, were not promoted. Today it is evident that ceilings and walls exist throughout most workplaces for minorities and women. These barriers result from institutional and psychological practices, and limit the advancement and mobility opportunities of men and women of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds." (Requires Acrobat Reader, a Web browser plug-in available for free download))
Global Internet Liberty Campaign -- "coalition of organizations that have banned together to promote human rights and civil liberties on the net"
Human Rights Watch -- "contains names of human rights organizations... and resources... of use to human rights activists and researchers."
Human Rights Web -- "provides links to several Human Rights organizations."
In Defense of Affirmative Action -- online from In Motion Magazine
Internet Law Library -- links, links, and more links.
League of United Latin American Citizens -- "working since 1929 to assure our fellow Hispanic citizens a good education, a better job, and the civil rights promised to every American."
Legal Issue Summary: Affirmative Action and the Courts -- online from Hastings, this research project discusses court decisions and analyzes affirmative action legal issues.
Martin Luther King Jr.(Seattle Times) -- a site that offers a tribute to Dr. King.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University -- the papers of Dr. King, and more.
Multi-Racial Activist - Anti-Racism & Ant-Discrimination Organizations & Websites -- large site with multiple resources, including lots of hyperlinks to many anti-racism organizations world-wide.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People -- "objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens in the United States."
National Association of Latino Elected Officials Education Fund (NALEO) -- "established in 1981 to promote the participation of Latinos in the nation's civic life."
National Times -- online from the National Organization for Women (NOW), includes two articles entitled NOW Vows to Save Affirmative Action, and The Origins of Affirmative Action.
National Urban League -- "mission is to assist African Americans in the achievement of social and economic equality."
The Origins of Affirmative Action -- online from the National Organization for Women.
People for the American Way -- "represents more than 300,000 members and activists committed to fighting the Religious Right's political agenda."
Privacy International -- "Human Rights group that monitors privacy and surveillance issues world wide."
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse -- "offers consumers a unique opportunity to learn how to protect their personal privacy, provides fact sheets on existing law in different areas of privacy."
Project Diana Database -- "compiles documents, treaties, conventions, legal briefs and bibliographies related to Human Rights."
Race and Affirmative Action -- includes a collection of articles -- some more current than others -- from The Atlantic Monthly magazine.
Reverse Racism, or How the Pot Got to Call the Kettle Black -- "In America 'whites once set themselves apart from blacks and claimed privileges for themselves while denying them to others," the author writes. "Now, on the basis of race, blacks are claiming special status and reserving for themselves privileges they deny to others. Isn't one as bad as the other? The answer is no.'"
Southern Poverty Law Center -- "a nonprofit organization that combats hate, intolerance and discrimination through education and litigation."
United States Commission on Civil Rights -- "an independent, bi-partisan agency first established by Congress in 1957 and re-established in 1983."
United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights -- from its mission statement: "The Department of Health and Human Services, through the Office for Civil Rights, promotes and ensures that people have equal access to and opportunity to participate in and receive services in all HHS programs without facing unlawful discrimination. Through prevention and elimination of unlawful discrimination, the Office for Civil Rights helps HHS carry out its overall mission of improving the health and well-being of all people affected by its many programs."
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) -- "The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and began operating on July 2, 1965. The EEOC enforces the principal federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination..."
Voices of the Civil Rights Era -- sound clips, speeches, and more.
Voters Telecommunications Watch -- "a volunteer organization concentrating on legislation as it relates to telecommunications and civil liberties."
Voting Rights Act -- online from Cornell University.

 

 

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Copyright © Debbie Twyman and Craig Whitney
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