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Basic Constitutional Law

Legal Information

  • ACLU Death Penalty Information

    The death penalty is the greatest denial of civil liberties. Read about why the ACLU is working towards a moratorium and how you can help. Topics include: (1) Innocent people are being sentenced to death, (2) Almost all people on death row could not afford to hire an attorney, (3) Race often plays a role in determining a capital sentence, (4) Where a death sentence is sought often determines whether a defendant is sentenced to death more than the circumstances of the crime, (5) Juvenile offenders (16 and 17 years old) are sentenced to death and executed in the U.S. even though kids are not given the same responsibilities of adults. Content Detail

    By:
    American Civil Liberties Union
    Read this in:
    Spanish / Español
  • Additional Constitutional Protections: Voting, Privacy, Bearing Arms

    This document provides a brief overview of certain additional rights under the US Constitution, answering the following questions: What constitutional rights are there besides those in the First Amendment? Is there a right to bear arms? Is there a right to privacy? Is there a right to vote? What do some of the amendments in the Bill of Rights say? The document is excerpted from An Introduction to Law in Georgia, Fourth Edition, published by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, 1998 (updated 2004). Read More

    By:
    Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia
  • Affirmative Action

    For federal contractors and subcontractors, affirmative action must be taken by covered employers to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. Affirmative actions include training programs, outreach efforts, and other positive steps. These procedures should be incorporated into the company’s written personnel policies. Employers with written affirmative action programs must implement them, keep them on file and update them annually. Content Detail

    By:
    U.S. Department of Labor
  • CDT's Guide to On-Line Privacy

    This document provides detailed information about privacy rights through the Constitution, legislation and agency inititiatives, legislation before Congress, and resources for protecting your medical, financial, and other information. Content Detail

    By:
    Center for Democracy and Technology
  • Civil Rights and Drug Policy

    The "War on Drugs" is not working. After decades of criminal prohibition and intensive law enforcement efforts to rid the country of illegal drugs, violent traffickers still endanger life in our cities and tons of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana still cross our borders unimpeded. Content Detail

    By:
    American Civil Liberties Union
  • Civil Rights of the Poor

    Poor people are one of the least powerful groups in the US and their civil liberties are therefore always in a precarious state. The ACLU has historically defended the rights of the poor against government arbitrariness and abuse. Today, that work continues. Content Detail

    By:
    American Civil Liberties Union
  • Free Speech

    It is no accident that freedom of speech is protected in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: "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." Content Detail

    By:
    American Civil Liberties Union
  • How Our Laws Are Made in the United States

    This web site contains detailed information about the legislative process - how laws are made in the United States. Content Detail

    By:
    THOMAS - Legislative Information on the Internet
  • Language Access Brochure

    Rights of persons with limited English proficiency. PDF document (may load slowly). Content Detail

    By:
    South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center
    Read this in:
    Spanish / Español
  • National Constitution Center: Studying the Constitution

    This web site contains: Facts about the United States Constitution, Information about Basic Governing Principles, the Founding Fathers, Founding Documents (such as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence) and Constitutional History Links. Content Detail

    By:
    National Constitution Center
  • Privacy and Technology

    The United States is at risk of turning into a full-fledged surveillance society. The tremendous explosion in surveillance-enabling technologies, combined with the ongoing weakening in legal restraints that protect our privacy mean that we are drifting toward a surveillance society. The good news is that it can be stopped. Unfortunately, right now the big picture is grim. Content Detail

    By:
    American Civil Liberties Union
  • The Legislative Process for the Federal Government

    This web page describes the basic process for Congress to pass laws for the United States. Content Detail

    By:
    U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Origins of Judicial Independence and Protection under the Constitution

    This web page provides information about the ways the founding fathers of the United States wrote the Constitution to ensure that judges are independent . The document also explains why the founding fathers were concerned enough about the matter to write these protections into the Constiution. Content Detail

    By:
    American Bar Association
  • United States Constitution

    View the U.S. Constitution from the Legal Information Institute. Full copies of the document may also be purchased and downloaded in HTML and in word processing formats. Content Detail

    By:
    Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School
  • Voting Rights Act

    Lawline FAQ: The Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965 by the U.S. Congress to assure that the right of citizens to vote is not denied or abridged due to race or color. There are two major provisions of the Voting Rights Act. One is referred to as Section 2. This section prohibits racial discrimination in voting nationwide. A voter may bring an action in federal court under this provision if they feel their right to vote has been denied or in any way affected due to race. Content Detail

    By:
    South Carolina Bar Association