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While the courts have generally protected our individual freedoms, the American people...

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monkeyhead | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 9, 2010 at 1:23 AM via web

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While the courts have generally protected our individual freedoms, the American people tend to support the restriction of these rights in practice

What reasons do you believe account for this fundamental difference of view?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 9, 2010 at 1:44 AM (Answer #1)

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One of the reasons is because, collectively, it is nearly impossible to control the complexity of many rights that are dully ours. Defending individual rights is a much simpler subject, and the individual itself can get a better hold of the extent to which his or her rights are being defended.

Another reason is the circumstances of the defense: For example, while some people are against keeping firearms in their homes, they still protest if anyone attempts against their RIGHT to bear arms, which is a constitutional right. Going against a constitutional right is a whole ball and chain which differs entirely from personal choice.

Finally, you also have the people who are plain hypocritical and defend only what they feel its right, or when they feel it is right to defend. It is all a matter of human behavior, really.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 9, 2010 at 1:49 AM (Answer #2)

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If there were not such a difference in view, there would be no need for courts that have the right of judicial review.

Majorities, almost by definition, will dislike minorities.  I do not necessarily mean racial or ethnic majorities and minorities, but that is one possible meaning.  Another meaning refers to people whose views are in the minority.

The majority of people will naturally disagree with small minorities and will often wish to suppress the views of the minority because they will often find those views very disagreeable and even immoral (white supremacists, for example).

However, the Framers of the Constitution felt it important that minority rights be upheld.  They put those ideas in the Constitution, and that is why the courts generally uphold individual rights.

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