Rosa Parks, The First Lady of Civil Rights

March 2nd, 2012 by

Rosa Parks, ‘The First Lady of Civil Rights’ “Don’t ride the bus today, don’t ride it for freedom.” This was written on the flyers plastered around the city of Montgomery on December 5, 1955: the day that Rosa Parks would be tried for her crime of refusing to give up her seat to a white Read more…

A Landmark Case? Or THE Landmark Case?

February 24th, 2012 by

209 years ago, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in the case of Marbury v. Madison (1803). Legal scholars consider Marbury v. Madison a central text for understanding the role of the Courts to interpret law in light of the Constitution, known as judicial review . It is the centerpiece of many constitutional law classes. Read more…

SOPA Makes the Internet Mad

January 18th, 2012 by

We recently posted a Teaching With Current Events resource on proposed SOPA and Protect-ID legislation. These proposed pieces of national legislation, which have implications for freedom of speech and private property, have continued to dominate headlines. As David A. Fahrenthold of the Washington Post wrote today, “This is what happens when you make the Internet Read more…

Twitter and Student Free Speech

December 2nd, 2011 by

An 18-year old Kansas high school senior attended a field trip with her Youth in Government program. On her way back from the event, she posted a tweet disparaging of Governor Sam Brownback and containing off-color language to her 65 followers. The governor’s staff noticed the tweet in the course of their regular monitoring of Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Reviewing Committee of Detail Report

August 29th, 2011 by

Philadelphia—The delegates, having now tackled topics as challenging as representation in Congress and several issues related to slavery, are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But decisions remain related to the separation of powers between the three national branches, as well as to federalism: the assignment of powers between the Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Representation: Down to the Details

July 11th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – The Gerry Commission report gave form to the idea, which had been bubbling up in debate, of a union “partly national, partly federal”. Because this idea was gaining momentum, the Gerry Commission report might be seen as the “Nationalists’ Last Gasp.” The bloc of delegates – including James Madison, James Wilson, and Gouverneur Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Revised Virginia Plan

June 6th, 2011 by

Philadelphia—The bold Virginia Plan remains the center of debate this week at the federal convention. After addressing questions of the power of the national government, the delegates find themselves circling back to various questions of the form and structure the new government will take. Small or Extended Republic? Within the context of determining the place Read more…

Teaching about the death of Osama bin Laden

May 9th, 2011 by

Almost immediately after President Obama announced that the U.S. had killed September 11 mastermind and Al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden, teachers knew it would be a topic of conversation the next day in school and for months and years to come. We work to prepare curriculum resources that tie constitutional principles to current events in ways Read more…

Should certain Justices sit out the health care case?

February 16th, 2011 by

According to this ABC News piece, more than 70 Democratic Congressmen are calling for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself  if and when any of the legal challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reach the Supreme Court. (And it’s certainly looking to be a matter of “when” and not “if.”) The House Read more…

The Bill of Rights and the Tragedy in Arizona

January 12th, 2011 by

The tragic events in Arizona have had numerous implications for Bill of Rights protections. We are working on a complete eLesson for distribution next week on all the constitutional angles of the story including the Arizona legislature’s ban on funeral protests and calls to criminalize speech that could be perceived as threatening to lawmakers. (The Supreme Read more…