Law and liberty are central concerns of Western political thought, and conflicting visions of law and liberty are responsible for some of the greatest upheavals in history. The American Revolution, for instance, was founded on the conviction that the British had violated the rule of law and deprived the colonists of their rights and liberties. Since the birth of the republic, these issues have been fought over and decided at all levels of government.
At root is an uncomfortable truth: some people are eager to deprive others of their liberty, and they often attempt to do so through a formal legal process. A proper legal system therefore must be on guard against such predation; eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Independent Institute fellows have written extensively on civil liberties and the legal process. Many of our publications have focused on the erosion of liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and how the judicial system in the United States has become steadily more restrictive and threatening the liberties of peaceful people in the course of their everyday lives.
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