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Are federal, state, and local governments in the U.S. generally required to protect people's rights to life and property from infringement by private individuals?

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The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires federal, state, and local governments to provide "equal protection of the laws" to all people in their jurisdictions. This means these governments have a measure of responsibility to protect the rights of all people from infringement by others, including the 5th Amendment rights to not "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." As explained in the Indiana Law Journal, "the fundamental reason for the existence of organized government" is to protect "lawful conduct" from "lawless" attacks upon it.

DocumentationConstitutional RightsPurpose of Government



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