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This documentary tells the story of Lilly Ledbetter and her U.S. Supreme Court case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.. Ledbetter’s fight for equal pay for equal work eventually involved all three branches of government and resulted in the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

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Throughout the nineteenth century, most women were excluded from voting and holding elective office. Beginning in 1848, women organize a suffrage movement to win the right to vote.

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This book uses historical case studies to explore the rights in the Constitution. Supreme Court cases are used to demonstrate how a right received its modern interpretation, how the right applies today, and how courts and other interpreters seek to balance this right with important societal concerns such as public safety.

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American Bar Association (ABA), Division for Public Education- www.abanet.org/publiced – The mission of the ABA Division for Public Education is to promote public understanding of law and its role in society.

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This resource provides a bibliography for those interested in learning more about individual and collective rights in the United States.

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1215- English barons force King John to sign the Magna Carta (Great Charter) to guarantee their rights and privileges and to acknowledge that the monarch’s power is not absolute.

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During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, opponents (Anti-Federalists) charged that the proposed document gave too much power to the central government and not enough protection to individual rights. They demanded a “bill of rights,” and several state ratifying conventions asked for amendments to the Constitution.

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At a summit of world leaders in 2006, the chancellor of Austria noted that the United States historically had led the world in advancing “democracy, liberty, and individual rights.” The remark was so widely accepted that it was a commonplace and quickly forgotten. In fact, the ordinary acceptance of the comment is what should draw our attention.

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Few rights have been more prominent throughout American history than property rights. The drive to settle North America was above all an attempt to exploit the economic potential of a new world, especially its vast tracts of land. Even individuals who came to escape political or religious persecution hoped for financial reward.

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The Second Amendment is bitterly contested in modern America. Does the amendment recognize an individual right to own guns for sport and self-defense or a collective right, exercised through a militia, or citizen guard, to possess firearms for defending the nation? The framers clearly believed the right was important, but what they meant by it has become a source of deep division.

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The Eighteenth Amendment resulted from a national effort to control the making, distribution, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Prohibition, called a “noble experiment” in a paraphrase of President Herbert Hoover’s explanation of its goals, was an attempt to control reckless and destructive personal behavior.

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Initially, the legislatures of each state elected their U.S. senators. In a number of instances, disagreements between the two houses of a state legislature left Senate seats vacant for protracted periods.

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In Article I, sections 2 and 9 the U.S. Constitution said that no direct taxes could be imposed unless made in proportion to the population, as measured by the census. This meant that rather than taxing individuals directly, Congress had to levy taxes in each state based on the state’s population.

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The Fifteenth Amendment prohibits the use of race in determining who can vote. The last of the three Reconstruction Era amendments, ratified shortly after the Civil War, the Fifteenth Amendment sought to advance the civil rights and liberties of the freed slaves and other African Americans.

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The right of privacy—the right to be left alone, as Justice Louis Brandeis once defined it—is fundamental to our understanding of freedom, but nowhere does the Constitution mention it. When Congress submitted the Bill of Rights to the people for ratification in 1789, privacy was not listed as a liberty that required protection from government.

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In February 2006, an inmate in California was minutes away from execution when two doctors assigned to monitor his death suddenly refused to participate. They protested the use of a three-drug cocktail designed to put the condemned man to sleep before he received the heart-stopping dose.

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The legal separation between children and adults was still hazy at the time of American independence, especially in criminal law. One central issue concerned the age when children formed consciences sufficient to hold them responsible for their actions.

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Television courtroom dramas have made the assistance of counsel during criminal proceedings one of the most recognizable of all rights guaranteed by the Constitution. We witness countless scenes of defendants refusing to cooperate without the presence of an attorney and of defense lawyers jousting in court with prosecutors to win an acquittal for their client.

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Among all abuses of governmental power, we may fear the secret trial most. Trial by jury guards against this practice, and for this reason juries have long occupied an important place in our understanding of individual rights.

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The privilege against self-incrimination goes back to the fourth century, but its most dramatic early expression can be found in medieval controversies between the English king and the church. Royal courts used a system of justice that employed public accusations and jury trials.

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Although it was created primarily to deal with the civil rights issues that followed the abolition of slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment has affected a broad range of American life, from business regulation to civil liberties to the rights of criminal defendants.