Rights And Freedoms You May Not Know You Have In America

June 27, 2024 | Eul Basa

Rights And Freedoms You May Not Know You Have In America

Know your rights and freedoms

In the United States, our Constitution and federal laws give us lots of rights that are important for our democracy. We all know about big ones like freedom of speech and the right to vote, but there are other rights that are just as crucial. Knowing about all these rights helps make sure we have the freedoms we deserve in our country.


Right to genetic privacy

Some states have legislation safeguarding genetic data against unauthorized sharing or bias.

Person Signing in Documentation PaperPixabay, Pexels

Freedom to offend

The First Amendment allows for the freedom to offend, which protects speech that has the potential to upset people (as long as it does not provoke violence or present a direct danger).

Protesters at the Climate Strike RallyRay Morgan, Shutterstock

Right to request government documents

Individuals have the right to request government documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which grants access to federal agency records.

businessman working or reading lawbookCrizzyStudio, Shutterstock

Freedom not to declare a religion

In contrast to nations with official religions, Americans have the liberty to refrain from declaring a religious affiliation or belief.

World religion symbolsDoidam 10, Shutterstock

Right to privacy in library records

Library records and patron information are protected by privacy laws in numerous states.

Books, coffee and lamp rotating on desk in libraryMarinaTr, Shutterstock

Freedom to insult public figures

The First Amendment strongly protects the right to criticize and insult public figures. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964) mandated a higher level of proof of defamation for public officials, requiring "actual malice" in claims against them.

man being mocked by his colleaguesMDV Edwards, Shutterstock

Right to access your credit report for free

Individuals are allowed to obtain their credit report from each major credit reporting agency once every 12 months at no cost, as outlined in federal legislation.

Credit score report and calculatorSmart Calendar, Shutterstock

Freedom to record public officials

In various circumstances, individuals have the liberty to film public officials (like law enforcement officers) carrying out their responsibilities in public locations.

Happy business man giving interview to journalistsNew Africa, Shutterstock

Right to refuse marketing calls

Consumers have the option to decline receiving telemarketing calls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

unwanted robocall on a smartphonegrandbrothers, Shutterstock

Freedom to access government records

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides the right to access government records that are not exempt from disclosure.

access government recordsTapati Rinchumrus, Shutterstock

Right to disconnect after work

Some states or cities have implemented legislation allowing employees to disconnect from work communications when not working.

turn off  mobile phoneTon Photographer 4289, Shutterstock

Freedom to publish satire

The First Amendment protects satirical speech and writing as a form of expression.

Man Reading Fake NewsMelnikov Dmitriy, Shutterstock

Right to personal data portability

In certain situations, people can ask for and obtain their personal information in a portable and user-friendly format as part of the Personal Data Portability right.

Business woman working with laptopNeatBonesm, Shutterstock

Freedom to refuse unreasonable searches and seizures

Individuals have the right to reject searches without a warrant or probable cause, as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

Young man is looking for his driving licenceGround Picture, Shutterstock

Right to access death records

Generally speaking, people are entitled to access death certificates and associated records.

Two Death Certificatesmundissima, Shutterstock

Freedom to privacy in personal communications

The Fourth Amendment protects personal communications against unjust searches and seizures.

Male executive talking on phonewavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

Right to access public beaches

Public beach access is guaranteed by laws in numerous states, allowing people to reach the high-water mark regardless of who owns the nearby private property.

access to the beachSergiocerverafotografo, Shutterstock

Freedom from forced quartering of soldiers

The Third Amendment prevents the government from requiring citizens to provide lodging for soldiers during times of peace without their permission.

Soldier in civil war, ruined buildingSuney munintrangkul,Shutterstock

Right to disconnect utilities in a rental

In a rental property, tenants typically can ask for utilities to be disconnected if they are in charge of paying for them.

House and utilitiesAndrii Yalanskyi, Shutterstock

Freedom from debtor's prison

The Constitution bars the imprisonment of people for debt related to civil issues.

boy's hands are wrapped in a metal chainYurii Klymko, Shutterstock

Right to access emergency contraception

Some states have regulations that guarantee access to emergency contraception without needing a prescription or parental permission.

Emergency contraceptionKmpzzz, Shutterstock

Freedom to keep exotic pets

Americans have the liberty to own exotic pets like specific reptiles, birds, and mammals as long as they follow regulations.

Hand of black male owner of exotic petSeventyFour, Shutterstock

Right to breastfeed in public

In numerous states, there are laws that specifically safeguard a mother's right to breastfeed openly in public areas.

mother breastfeeding her babyPeopleImages.com - Yuri A, Shutterstock

Freedom to decline military service

Under specific conditions, Americans have the right to avoid military service for reasons of religion or conscience, as it is protected by law.

american man wearing army uniform doing stop singKrakenimages.com, Shutterstock

Right to form a political party

The right to establish a political party is granted to Americans, allowing them to form and join political parties for involvement in elections.

American republican politician delivers successful speechFrame Stock Footage, Shutterstock

Freedom to use alternative medicine

Americans are allowed to utilize alternative medicine with some regulations in place.

Alternative medicinePhotoSGH, Shutterstock

Right to challenge unconstitutional laws

Individuals are allowed to challenge laws they deem unconstitutional by using the legal system.

Judge gavel and word IMPEACH on newspapersPixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Freedom to name children

Americans have the ability to select their children's names, as long as they adhere to legal boundaries.

Pregnant woman with different baby names on bellyNew Africa, Shutterstock

Right to form and join HOAs

Homeowners typically have the freedom to establish and become part of homeowners associations in order to oversee and preserve communal property.

Homeowners Association HOAJack_the_sparow, Shutterstock

Freedom to interpret religious texts

The First Amendment protects the freedom of Americans to read and interpret religious texts without government intervention.

Holy Al Quran with written Arabic calligraphyWaheedullah Jahesh, Shutterstock

Right to freedom from retaliation for whistleblowing

Employees have the right to report illegal activities at work without facing retaliation.

Whistleblower protection act bookVitalii Vodolazskyi, Shutterstock

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