Civil Rights versus Civil Liberties

 “Civil Rights” entail the following: the fundamental privilege to be liberated from discrimination that relates to “race, gender, disability, etc” for instance at work or in anything for that matter (FindLaw, 2008, n.p.).

A good example for “civil rights” is the right of Blacks to mingle with whites (FindLaw, 2008, n.p.). For example, it is the Black’s right to seat beside the Whites inside the bus; declaring otherwise violates such a “civil right” because “segregation” has long been declared as unconstitutional (FindLaw, 2008, n.p.). Another example is this: it is part of the women’s “civil rights” to be hired by any employer as long as they are qualified to carry out the job; they cannot be denied as an applicant just because they are women (FindLaw, 2008, n.p.).

 “Civil Liberties”, on the other hand, involves “basic rights and freedoms which are guaranteed” and clearly explained in the “Bill of Rights and Constitution or by courts and lawmakers” (FindLaw, 2008, n.p.). The following fall under the aforementioned category: “1) freedom of speech; 2) the right to privacy; 3) the right to be free from unreasonable searches of the home; 4) the right to a fair court trial; 5) the right to marry; and 6) the right to vote” (FindLaw, 2008, n.p.).

Examples of “civil liberties” include the following: first of all, nobody can stop anybody from exercising his or her right to vote; second, an individual has the right to speak up and express his or her opinion as long as nobody is physically hurt and as long as nobody becomes a victim of that scandal (assuming the person speaking is lying); third, one’s home cannot be subjected to a “search” unless there is a search warrant served and unless there is a lawful reason for such; and fourth, it is the person’s civil liberty to keep his or her life private, for instance, nobody can interfere with his or her phone calls, electronic mails, surveillance cameras cannot be installed in his or her bathroom or bedroom unless given permission by the courts and unless there is a lawful reason to do so  (FindLaw, 2008, n.p.).


FindLaw. (2008). Civil Rights vs Civil Liberties. Retrieved November 24, 2008 from