The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws
Author: David E. Bernstein
Publisher:Cato Institute
October 2003

>From the Publisher
"Intolerant activists are determined to impose their moralistic views on all Americans, regardless of the consequences for civil liberties. These well-organized zealots are a dominant force in one of American's major political practices. They have already achieved many legislative victories, especially at the local level, where they often wield disproportionate power. Courts frequently acquiesce to their agenda, even when it clashes directly with constitutional provisions that protect civil liberties. Until the power of these militants is checked, the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech and freedom of religion will be under constant siege." To many civil libertarians, the above paragraph reads like a thumbnail description of the Christian right. But in this revealing book, David Bernstein points out that it also describes left-wing egalitarian activists, many of whom are associated with the civil rights establishment. Their goal of elevating antidiscrimination concerns above all others poses an especially acute threat to civil liberties. The First Amendment, explicitly prohibits the government from interfering with freedom of expression, which includes free exercise of religion freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Antidiscrimination laws put all of those freedoms at risk.