U.S. Law: Discrimination
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U.S. law derives from a common law tradition that allows individuals the freedom to select their personal and business associates. In the absence of specific constitutional provisions or statutes dictating otherwise, discrimination based on personal preferences is presumptively lawful. The only exception recognized by the common law was that businesses providing important public services, such as transportation systems (known as “common carriers”), could not arbitrarily exclude particular individuals from using their services.