Welcome to the blog of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. The 2013-2014 academic year looks to be a big one for developments relating to civil rights and civil liberties, and we will be here to cover it. But will it be a good one for civil rights and civil liberties? I’m skeptical. We can expect some continued progress on marriage equality, but also a continuation in income inequality. Reproductive rights will continue to hang on by a thread, and our privacy will continue to erode against intrusion from both the public and private sectors.

But even as civil rights and civil liberties continue to be scaled back, the CRCL blog will continue to provide trenchant coverage of events in the news and of events relating to civil rights and civil liberties at Harvard Law School. We welcome comments from our readers and from fellow members of the community. The CRCL blog aims to be more than just a platform for its contributing writers or a source of coverage for events around Harvard. We aim to be a vital component of the progressive legal community and a site for robust conversation about fundamental rights. Look for a greater presence in social media over the coming months, and take part in our ongoing dialogue!

As the new school year begins, it may be worth reflecting on what the relationship between civil rights and civil liberties is. What work does the dash do in our name? More to the point, where should progressive law students devote their energy for securing either civil rights or civil liberties? CRCL draws upon a productive tension between rights and liberties – we draw upon rights as claims upon the state and upon our fellow individuals, and upon liberties as freedoms from interference by the state or by other individuals. We do not all agree on the relative importance of positive versus negative claims; we don’t even all agree on the importance of the distinction between the two. What brings us together is a commitment to explore these issues and define our rights and our liberties in ways that increase the dignity of our fellow citizens. I invite readers to weigh in through the comment feature and give us their thoughts on our agenda for the coming year.

All viewpoints are welcome — but as this is the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, please keep your comments civil!


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