What are the basic personal and political rights guaranteed to Americans ? 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As Americans, we are granted a number of personal and political rights.  Some of these are explicitly outlined in the Constitution; others are simply implied by that document.

The best way to start enumerating these rights is to look in the Bill of Rights.  The first ten amendments to the Constitution lay out some of our most important rights.  Just in the First Amendment, hese include the right to free speech, the right to freedom of religion, the right to assemble, the right to petition, the right to a free press.  We are also generally given the right to be protected from governmental intrusion into our lives unless the governmental officials can obtain warrants that allow them to do things like searching our homes. 

In addition, we have many rights that are implied in the Constitution.  We have the right to have a say in our government.  We do not have an absolute right to vote, but we do have the right to vote as long as we do not do anything to disqualify ourselves.  We have the right to personal privacy.  That has been construed to mean that we have the right to marry anyone we want (so long as they are of age, not too closely related to us and, for the time being, of the opposite sex).  We have the right to engage in sexual activity with consenting adults (with some exceptions, such as prostitution).  We have the right to use contraceptives.  In other words, we generally have the right to make our own decisions about matters like these that are private.  We have the right to live wherever we like, without having to get permission to live in a certain town.  We have the right to travel wherever we like within the US.

All of these rights, and more, are guaranteed to us as Americans.

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