Rank The Rights

This task force gives students the responsibility of trying to rank various rights that are given to citizens of the United States.

Task Force: Rank The Rights


You have been selected to rank the rights that U.S. citizens are given, present your ideas at a conference for refugees, and facilitate a wider discussion with the audience. You will be given a list of various rights granted to citizens and will have to rate them highest importance to lowest. Your goal is NOT to arbitrarily rank each right, but to be able to defend why you chose that particular order! The goal is to bring attention to the importance of each right and the difficulty of ranking them.

Why Are We Doing This?:

There are several rights that U.S. citizens are guaranteed that are often taken for granted. Refugees that flee their countries would be grateful to have even some of the many rights citizens in the United States have. Here, we ask you to conceptualize the rights that we as U.S. citizens are given and analyze their importance. 


  1. Try to rank each of the rights listed below. 
    1. Which rights should be ranked higher (indicating a higher level of importance)? 
    2. Which rights should be ranked lower? 
    3. Why have you chosen that order?
    4. Did you struggle with ranking any of the rights? Which ones and why?
  2. Think through the possible objections about your ranking order that someone could have and how you would answer them. 
    1. Why might your rankings differ greatly from someone else’s?
  3. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your order of rights best ranks each of them in order of importance. 


  • Freedom of speech/press
  • Freedom of religion
  • Right to assemble
  • Right to petition government
  • Right to form a militia and to keep and bear arms
  • Right not to have soldiers in one’s home
  • Right to a speedy trial, to legal counsel, and to confront their accusers
  • Right to vote

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Don’t worry about justifying the order of each right, but try to be able to defend why you put some towards the top and others towards the bottom.
  • Consider why someone might disagree with your rankings.