Civil Rights Basics

Welcome to the Civil Rights Basics section of FindLaw, which provides a general introduction to civil rights and related laws. The term "civil rights" refers to statutory and court-mandated protections from discrimination and other forms of unequal treatment on the basis of national origin, race, gender, and other such characteristics. Civil rights also include freedom from cruel or otherwise excessive force by police officers or other government agents. Articles and resources include a primer on the origins of civil rights laws, an overview of the Bill of Rights, a civil rights quiz, summaries of landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions impacting civil rights, and more.

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