Researchers at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy release a set of 80 recommendations toward a more equal liberty.
Americans today know they face threats to their rights, their democracy, their health and their economy. These threats are interrelated and demand a transformative response. Transformations have occurred at other pivotal moments in our nation’s history—at its founding during the American Revolution, its Reconstruction after the Civil War, its recovery from the Great Depression, its rise after World War II, and its reimagining during the Civil Rights Movement. Can today become a similar moment of transformation, turning threats into opportunities through the power of civic activism, voting, and government response? Can we reimagine the promise of rights that bind us together as a nation of diverse histories, identities, and lived experiences?
The rights of equal access to health care, education and clean air and water are endorsed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities of Americans and supported by the principles of equal protection.
Domestic violence has increased during the COVID pandemic, exacerbated by congressional failure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
The socioeconomic effects of deeply rooted racial discrimination have placed Black Americans and other people of color at far greater risk from the COVID pandemic than non-minorities.
LGBTQ people in more than half the states are not protected from many forms of discrimination, despite a recent Supreme Court ruling that federal civil rights laws bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual identity.
There is documented evidence of a connection between rising hate crimes and increasing hate speech, especially in statements by political leaders.
- To strengthen the democratic process: eliminate restrictions on voting participation; restore the Voting Rights Act to guard against voting laws with a racially discriminatory impact; prevent partisan gerrymandering; require and fund civic education; and amend the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College and permit the regulation of campaign finance.
- To safeguard the right of equal protection: reform policing, law enforcement and the criminal justice system; strengthen civil rights protections against discrimination, including hate crime laws; create measures to guarantee equal access to education, employment, housing, environmental protection and health care; and enact laws guaranteeing equality of rights in which all rights are equally protected and no single right is privileged over other rights.
- To promote due process and the rule of law: secure due process and humanitarian protections in immigration proceedings; reduce incarceration and juvenile detention; reform sentencing laws; and enact laws that balance gun rights with public safety.
- To protect freedom of speech and media: create a digital public infrastructure; require social media transparency and accountability; and promote media literacy.
- To safeguard freedom of religion: protect the free exercise of religion equally for all religions and reestablish a balance of claims of religious freedom with other constitutional rights.
- To reimagine privacy rights: develop national privacy policies and standards and create a federal privacy and data commission with broad authority to enforce privacy standards in both government and the private sector.