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Civil Liberties

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

These stirring words from the Declaration of Independence are at the very foundation of the American tradition of civil liberties. In this course, we explore this tradition from its beginning with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers, through a number of notable historical and contemporary cases in which claims to rights and liberties have been at stake.

We will examine issues of slavery, segregation, abortion, campaign finance, free speech, religion, affirmative action, and marriage.  Our discussion will be guided by thinkers like John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as important Supreme Court opinions, such as the majority and dissenting opinions in Dred Scott v. Sandford (on slavery), Brown v. Board of Education (on segregation), Roe v. Wade (on abortion), Citizens United v. FEC (on campaign finance and free speech), and Obergefell v. Hodges (on marriage).

We do not seek unanimity of opinion, but rather a deepening of understanding. Whatever your views happen to be—liberal, conservative, whatever—they will be sympathetically explored but also challenged. The goal of the course is not to persuade you to think as anyone else does; rather, it is to encourage and empower you to think about disputed questions of civil rights and liberties more deeply, more critically, and for yourself.

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Rating 4.8 based on 6 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Effort 2 - 5 hours per week
Starts Sep 13 (199 weeks ago)
Cost $0
From PrincetonX via edX
Instructor Robert P. George
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Social Sciences Humanities
Tags Law Philosophy & Ethics

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What people are saying

affect our everyday lives

This was a very informative course, that delineated issues involving civil liberties, and how these issues impact a variety of matters that affect our everyday lives.

most important related case-law

"Civil Liberties" has given me the opportunity to know civil rights constitutionally guaranteed by the United States of America, the historical process of their assertion and the most important related case-law.

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help students develop ability

The assigned readings are challenging but very informative and help students develop ability to decipher judicial opinions.

his lecture videos

His lecture videos are lively.

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far been able

Because of the constraints of the time, I have not so far been able to participate in the weekly discussions.

well set up

The structure: assigned readings, terms & concepts, classroom lectures, group discussion and quizzes are well set up.

as audio podcasts

The lectures could be presented as texts or as audio podcasts.

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weekly quizzes

Weekly Quizzes are very interesting and are not too difficult.

absolutely outstanding

This is an absolutely outstanding course on matters that all Americans and, indeed, people throughout the world should know about: civil liberties.

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Rating 4.8 based on 6 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Effort 2 - 5 hours per week
Starts Sep 13 (199 weeks ago)
Cost $0
From PrincetonX via edX
Instructor Robert P. George
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Social Sciences Humanities
Tags Law Philosophy & Ethics

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