Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law

In this unit we will be examining the Constitution and the Supreme Court. We will examine both modern and historical rulings on issues such as freedom of speech, the death penalty, right to privacy, search warrants, abortion, separation of church and state and civil rights. We will explore the concept of the rule of law in American government and the role of Judicial Review.

Among the essential questions we will be addressing are

1. How is the Constitution a means of protecting the rights of individual citizens?
2. How does the Supreme Court balance the rights of the individual and the interests of the state?
3. How does Judicial Review affect the system of checks and balances?
4. How have the rulings of the Supreme Court changed over time?

In this unit we will be reading directly from the rulings of the Supreme Court as well as other text sources. The unit will culminate is a research paper.

Readings: 
We the People... The Citizen and the Constitution: Judicial Review
We the People... The Citizen and the Constitution: Freedom of Speech
We the People... The Citizen and the Constitution: Freedom of Religion
We the People... The Citizen and the Constitution: Due Process
Landmarkcases.org: Miranda vs. Arizona,
Landmarkcases.org: Mapp vs. Ohio
Landmarkcases.org: Roe vs. Wade
Landmarkcases.org: Brown vs Board of Education
Landmarkcases.org: Furman vs. Georgia
Landmarkcases.org: Johnson vs. Texas
Media Used: 
Oyez.com
Significant Assignments: 

Constitutional Law Paper Modern and Landmark Decisions

In this paper you will be exploring the Modern developments of a Constitutional issue of a Landmark case that we discussed in class. You paper will examine how the modern court’s ruling relates to the rulings in the landmark case. Questions you may want to explore include: Has the court respected or changed the precedent of the landmark case? Is the court interpreting the Constitution in a new way? What new developments have arisen regarding this issue? Has the debate regarding this issue shifted or remained constant?
What accounts for this change?

Among the Constitutional Issues you can examine are

• Free Speech
• Free Exercise of Religion
• The Separation of Church and state
• Free Association
• School Integration
• Due Process of Law
• Abortion
• Search Warrants
• Self Incrimination
• Death Penalty

In your paper, begin by examining a landmark case explored in class, focusing on the context of the case, issues and values in conflict, and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the constitution. Then move on to the modern debate and modern court cases regarding your topic Your thesis should connect the modern court cases with the landmark rulings.

Paper should Reference landmark as well as modern cases and pertinent newspaper articles.

Research: 

Researching Modern Supreme Court Cases: Oyez.com

Sample PBATs: 
Constitutional Law Paper: Modern and Landmark Decisions