According to the Natural Rights Argument, rights can be neither created nor destroyed by any human institution. Indeed the US Constitution expressly avoids using language that suggests rights are created or given by government. Why, then, do so many Americans seem to believe rights are given to citizens either by the Constitution or by government? What can be done to remove this assumption?
Sources to consider:
a Locke, John. Second Treatise of Civil Government, especially Chapters 1-5.
b The Declaration of Independence
c Richie, David G. Natural Rights: A Criticism of Some Political and Ethical Conceptions. New York: Macmillan, 1903.
d Zuckert, Michael. Natural Rights and the New Republicanism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.