What makes something a civil right?

| Jun 14, 2021 | Firm News |

The basic definition of a civil right is something that enables you to be equal and receive fair treatment. Civil rights, according to FindLaw, help to give everyone a fair chance and typically have legal protection. 

Some civil rights are in the U.S. Constitution and some are in laws created by Congress or other legislative bodies. 

Definition

Civil rights are those rights related to your freedom. They are basic concepts that help you to live your life without infringement. These rights also have a basis in protecting you for characteristics you have, such as the color of your skin or whether you are male or female. 

Legal rights

Civil rights get protection from various discrimination laws. For example, to ensure everyone has equal access to housing and that a landlord or seller cannot refuse to rent or sell to you because you are of a specific race or have some other protected characteristic, there is the Fair Housing Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects against discrimination against you if you have a disability or medical condition. 

There are laws protecting you when it comes to age, race, religion, gender, national origin, color and family status. They also cover a wide range of situations, including employment. 

Sometimes, the Supreme Court makes a ruling that protects civil rights or clarifies an existing law, and this helps expand civil rights. States also can pass laws to impact your rights. 

Every person in the United States has civil rights. They are very important to the foundation of what being an American means. Protecting your civil rights is essential to ensuring the country remains free.