17.2j Civil Rights Flashcards Preview

XVII Politics Comparing Democracies > 17.2j Civil Rights > Flashcards

Flashcards in 17.2j Civil Rights Deck (11)
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US protecting rights 1

In the US rights are protected by the US Bill of Rights.

This contains the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution, including:
The First Amendment freedom of religion and speech
The Second Amendment right to bear arms
The Fifth Amendment right to life, liberty and property.


US protecting rights 2

Rights are protected by more recent amendments such as the 19th which gave women the right to vote and the 26th which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

Laws passed by Congress have protected rights, including the Voting Rights Act (1965) and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (2009).

The Supreme Court protects rights by ruling based on constitutional rights and has established new rights through its rulings.


UK protecting rights

The judiciary protects the rights and liberties of UK citizens through the use of judicial review, precedent from past rulings, upholding the Human Rights Act and judicial inquiries.

The Human Rights Act (1998), which incorporated the European Convention on Human rights into UK law, can be used by the Supreme Court to protect rights.

The Act includes freedoms such as the right to life and a fair trial.

Parliament passes legislation which establishes the rights of citizens.


US rights: women

A woman’s right to have an abortion has been ruled on under the 14th Amendment.

The 1973 Roe v Wade case ruled in favour of the right to abortion.

The 2007 Gonzales v Carhart case ruled to ban a specific abortion procedure in later abortions which limited how effectively this right has been protected.


US rights: affirmative action

Affirmative action protects the rights of minorities by giving them access to areas of employment and education.

By advantaging certain minority groups, other citizens view their rights as not being protected.

The 2003 Gratz v Bollinger ruled that Michigan University’s admissions procedure was unconstitutional because it admitted nearly all underrepresented minorities.

The 2016 Fisher v University of Texas case ruled that universities can take race and ethnicity into account in their admissions process.


More US rights 1

The rights of racial minorities, those with disabilities and women are more effectively protected than they used to be.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act gave racial minorities the right to vote and this has been effectively upheld recently through the re-authorisation of the act under President George W. Bush.


More US rights 2

Supreme Court rulings have protected other rights such as the 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion.
In the 2014 Town of Greece v Galloway case, the Court ruled that city and town councils could start meetings with prayers.


Judiciary 1

In the UK, the judiciary effectively protects rights through its rulings.

The Supreme Court can rule against government laws and decisions if they are incompatible with the protection of rights which are in the European Convention on Human Rights.

In 2015 the Supreme Court upheld a freedom of information request, which the government opposed, to publish Prince Charles’ letters to government ministers.


Judiciary 2

The Supreme Court has judicial review power where it can rules ministers as acting ultra vires.

For example, it ruled Christ Grayling as acting ultra vires in 2016 after he introduced a “residence test” to the Legal Aid Act in 2012.



Parliament has effectively protected rights through passing laws including the Equal Pay Act (1970) and the Freedom of Information Act (2000).

The Equality Act (2010) effectively protected anti-discrimination legislation into a single law to protect the rights of racial minorities and rights based on disability, sexuality and gender.



In the UK rights are less effectively protected because they are not entrenched and can be replaced by new legislation. This differs from the US where rights are entrenched in the constitution and need amendments to be changed.

In 2015 the Conservative government announced plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of rights when the UK leaves the EU.