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Election 2012 Lesson Plans

Citizens United v. F.E.C. (2010)

During his 2010 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama did something very few presidents have done: he openly challenged a Supreme Court ruling in front of both chambers of Congress and members of the Supreme Court.  That ruling, Citizens United v. F.E.C. (2010), and the President’s commentary on it, reignited passions on both sides of a century long debate: to what extent does the First Amendment protect ways Americans associate with one another and the diverse ways we “speak,” “assemble,” and participate in American political life?  It is this speech – political speech – that the Founders knew was inseparable from the very concept of self-government. To download this resource, click here.

Why Does a Free Press Matter?

First Amendment freedoms like speech and press are essential rights.  Self-government is impossible without them.  The Founders saw press freedom as a bulwark of liberty and a means of assuring justice in government.  The First Amendment, protecting the press from interference from the national government was ratified in 1791.   A free press is important during political campaigns.  It is critical that citizens are free to publish their ideas and read the ideas of others in order for self-government to succeed. To download this resource, click here.