What rights are guaranteed (protected) for US citizens? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The United States Constitution guarantees certain rights for all US citizens. Some of these rights were written in to the original body of the Constitution, and others within the first ten amendments to the Constitution, collectively known as the Bill of Rights. The first right, enshrined in the main body of the Constitution, is the notion of habeas corpus, that courts cannot hold or imprison someone without evidence. Additional rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights include:

  • First Amendement: Congress will not establish an religion, but will allow citizens free exercise of religion. This amendment also guarantees freedom of speech, the right of peacable assembly, and the right to petition Congress for redress to right wrongs. 
  • Security against unreasonable search and seizures: The government must show probable cause before searching a citizen's property or seizing a citizen's goods. 
  • The fifth through eighth amendments guarantee right to timely trial by jury and many other rights for defendants in trials. Cruel and unusual punishments are prohibited.

The fourteenth amendment, passed after the Civil War, guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law, and thus prohibits racial discrimination. It is the basis for many of the legal protections for the disabled and also for gender equality. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial