Thursday, June 14, 2012

Plethora of Rights

Political rights, social rights, human rights, animal rights, women’s rights, religious rights, minority rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, and the list could be endless when defining the various rights existing in our world. When it comes to violation of human rights, even the United States, the most advanced nation in democratic values, is not free from the extremes of torture as decried by Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican from Nebraska who castigated the Cingranelli and Richards human rights data project for exposing America’s excesses in its torture chambers (Cingranelli & Richards, 2010). Cingranelli and Richards (2010) have been observing and documenting changing dimensions of global human rights practices by governments through data collection. Freedom of expression is a right that is documented in the First Amendment (Rosenbloom et al, 2009).

Retracing Justice Harlan’s interpretation of freedom of association, Emerson (1964) concludes its origin as deriving from the First Amendment. The First Amendment reminds us of the existence of indispensable liberties that incorporate freedom of association, of press, and of speech. As stipulated by constitutional law, the right of the individual prevails over all other rights. The government has the right to intervene if a group forms an association for the sake of robbing a bank or planning to undertake subversive and seditious activities that may threaten national sovereignty. The historical NAACP v. Alabama case of 1958 was nothing more than government attempt to destroy the NAACP (Emerson, 1964). We are born with rights and that they are rights that are eternal in nature that cannot be infringed upon by others.


Emerson, T.I. (1964). Freedom of association and freedom of expression. The Yale Law Journal, Volume 74, No.1

Cingranelli, D.L. & Richards, D.L. (2010). The Cingranelli and Richards human rights data project. Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 32, pp. 395-418.

Rosenbloom, D.H., Kravchuk, R.S. & Clerkin, R.M. (2009). Public Administration: Understanding management, politics, and law in the public sector (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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