AP Gov

Overview of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

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Civil Rights

The rights and privileges guaranteed to all citizens under the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th amendment.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

This Act, passed by President Johnson, mandated voting rules and procedures to be applied equally (1), barred discriminated in public accommodations but exempted "private" establishments (2), and desegregated public facilities and schools (3).

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Led to the mass enfrancisement of African American voters and was in part an enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it gave the government the power to step in.

Lilly Ledbetter Act

A woman named Lilly Ledbetter was paid unequally for years and once she realized this she went to court. However, she lost the case because she had not spoken up after the first unequal paycheck despite the fact that she had no way of knowing that it was unequal.


Thus, the Lilly Ledbetter Act it restored the 180 day period in which women can file a lawsuit for discriminatory action in the workplace.

Title IX

Passed in 1972, this required gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding.
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Civil Liberties

The constitutionally established guarantees that protects citizens opinions, and property against arbitrary government interference.

First Amendment

Established freedom of speech, religion, and press as well as the right to petition and assemble.
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Incorporation of Bill of Rights

The court case Barron v. Baltimore struck down the idea of total incorporation- incorporating all of the first ten amendments at once to the states. The court case Gitlow v. NY established the principle of selective incorporation, which allows different clauses of the amendments to be applied to the states on a case by case basis.

Right to Privacy

The only right not explicitly stated in the constitution, this is interpreted through the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The right to privacy is the right of an individual to be left alone and make decisions freely without the interference of others.

Roe v. Wade

The right to an abortion is controversial, but the court ruled that it is private and cannot be interfered with by the government. However, there are some exceptions depending on the state and point in the pregnancy.

The Rights of the Accused

The court case Miranda v. Arizona established the rights that must be read at the time of arrest. This was to protect citizens from self-incrimination.