Does “no law” really mean no law?

October 27th, 2011 by

Of all the amendments to the Constitution, the First is, in many respects, the one whose meaning seems most plain. Its protection of speech appears unequivocal: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” But some people wonder and worry if this prohibition against speech regulation has been observed by Congress and other government officials.

Bill of Frights! Do we still have the right to a fair trial?

October 26th, 2011 by

When accused of a crime, every citizen possesses the right to a fair trial–some details of what a fair trial encompasses are laid out in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But some worry that mandatory minimum-sentencing guidelines are shifting the scales of justice and placing too much power in the hands of prosecutors, thus making it challenging for citizens to receive a fair trial.

Bill of Frights! Can the Government take your Home?

October 25th, 2011 by

What could be more frightening than violations of our constitutional rights? But is everything that appears to be a violation actually one? This week we’ll explore some current constitutional issues ripped from the headlines, and delve into some questions about whether rights are being violated. We hope you enjoy our Bill of Frights! “For every Read more…

Bill of Frights! Do warrantless searches violate the 4th Amendment?

October 24th, 2011 by

What could be more frightening than violations of our constitutional rights? But is everything that appears to be a violation actually one? This week we’ll explore some current constitutional issues ripped from the headlines, and delve into some questions about whether rights are being violated. We hope you enjoy our Bill of Frights! Under what Read more…

Is the Constitution Important?

October 21st, 2011 by

I hear this question a lot – and I think this is an important question for all social studies teachers to grapple with. The first thing I would tell your students when they ask this question, is that as citizens of the United States of America, we don’t have one single thing that binds us Read more…

Ratification of the Louisiana Purchase

October 20th, 2011 by

October 20th marks the anniversary of the Senate’s ratification of the Louisiana Purchase. Celebrate by digging into the history of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty.

When should Supreme Court Justices recuse themselves from a case?

October 19th, 2011 by

Not many people realize what an innovative concept an independent judiciary was when the Constitution was ratified in 1789. In the United States, judges would not be dependent on the executive; there would truly be three distinct branches of power. Supreme Court Justices would serve for life during good behavior, in part to ensure their Read more…