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What are Civil Liberties?

February 15, 2020


Welcome to the Investors Trading Academy talking
glossary of financial terms and events. Our word of the day is “Civil Liberty
The freedom to act, assemble, think or speak as you wish, regulated only as much as is
needed for the good of other people. Civil liberties are personal guarantees and freedoms
that the government cannot abridge, either by law or by judicial interpretation without
due process. It is important to note the difference between
“civil rights” and “civil liberties.” The legal area known as “civil rights” has traditionally
revolved around the basic right to be free from unequal treatment based on certain protected
characteristics such as race, gender, disability in settings such as employment and housing.
“Civil liberties” concern basic rights and freedoms that are guaranteed — either explicitly
identified in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, or interpreted through the years by courts
and lawmakers. Civil liberties include: Freedom of speech, The right to privacy, The right
to be free from unreasonable searches of your home, The right to a fair court trial, The
right to marry, The right to vote. One way to consider the difference between
“civil rights” and “civil liberties” is to look at 1) what right is affected, and 2)
whose right is affected. For example, as an employee, you do not have
the legal right to a promotion, mainly because getting a promotion is not a guaranteed “civil
liberty.” But, as a female employee you do have the legal right to be free from discrimination
in being considered for that promotion — you cannot legally be denied the promotion based
on your gender

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