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General Issues Of Constitutional Rights

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Chapter Summary

Associations and corporations, recognized by the state as legal persons, enjoy several constitutional rights. A legal entity's character is "determined neither by its expressly private characterization in statutory law, nor by the law's failure to acknowledge its inseparability from recognized government officials or agencies". Some rights established by the Constitution are protected from both governmental and private abridgment. However, most rights secured by the Constitution are protected only against infringement by governments. Regulations that prohibit federally funded family-planning projects from engaging in counseling concerning, referrals for, and activities advocating abortion as a method of family planning, are permissible. Thus, government officials performing discretionary functions generally are granted a qualified immunity and are shielded from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate "clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known".

Keywords: Constitution; constitutional rights; general issues; government officials; Issues; regulations; statutory law



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