Civil Liberties

Civil liberties derive from the U.S. Constitution and particularly its first 10 amendments known as the Bill of Rights.  Those include everything from religious freedom and a free press to the right to bear arms and to vote regardless of race or gender.  The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, launched a new era of debate over civil liberties as attempts to pre-empt foreign and domestic threats expanded the powers to law enforcement to monitor communications and collect bank and other records without requiring a warrant signed by a judge.  The holding of terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay military base without charges or access to speedy trials spawned its own controversy which continues.  Meanwhile court fights over state and federal laws allowing and prohibiting marriage by gay couples appear headed for the U.S. Supreme court.

 

Massachusetts (change)

 
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Offices & Officials

Governor: Deval Patrick
Lieutenant Governor: Tim Murray
Attorney General: Martha Coakley
Secretary of State: Bill Galvin