The theme of this book is that civil rights and civil liberties are not brought by the stork. What we often refer to as "our rights as Americans," "our inalienable rights," and even, embarassingly, "our unalienable rights," are not written in letters of fire in the sky or clearly chiseled in the granite of our past. Rather, civil rights and civil liberties, as enforceable legal rights in our society, are the results of choices made by generations of judges, legislators, and appointed administrators (bureaucrats) who were pushed and hauled in various directions by successive generations of lawyers, political publicists, visionaries, and representatives of the myriad special interests that have together made up American society. The choices made by these past and present Americans were, in most cases, not at all self-evident. There were strongly conflicting arguments and good reasons (although perhaps not equally good) put forward in support of alternative outcomes.
- From The Law and Politics of Civil Rights and Liberties by Richard E. Morgan (1985)