Despite promises made by presidential candidates, the President has no direct power to pass any legislation. This very important power lies solely with the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The Constitution specifically grants Congress its most important power the authority to make laws. A bill, or proposed law, only becomes a law after both the House of Representatives and the Senate have approved it in the same form. The two houses share other powers, many of which are listed in Article I, Section 8. These include the power to declare war, coin money, raise an army and navy, regulate commerce, establish rules of immigration and naturalization, and establish the federal courts and their jurisdictions.
The American Revolution began the process of creating a new nation in a number of different ways; by protesting British rule through legal and extra-legal actions; by waging a war to end America's status as a colonized territory; and by designing new forms of government for what Patriots hoped would become independent states.
A framework for a new and stronger national government had been crafted at the Philadelphia Convention by a handful of leaders. But how could their proposed system be made into law?
No protesting the government? No immigrants allowed in? No freedom of the press. Lawmakers jailed? Is this the story of the Soviet Union during the Cold War? No. It describes the United States in 1798 after the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts.
California was admitted to the Union as the 16th free state. In exchange, the south was guaranteed that no federal restrictions on slavery would be placed on Utah or New Mexico. Texas lost its boundary claims in New Mexico, but the Congress compensated Texas with $10 million. Slavery was maintained in the nation's capital, but the slave trade was prohibited. Finally, and most controversially, a Fugitive Slave Law was passed, requiring northerners to return runaway slaves to their owners under penalty of law.
At the dawn of the 20th century, nine out of ten African Americans lived in the South. Jim Crow laws of segregation ruled the land. The Supreme Court upheld the power of the Southern states to create two "separate but equal" societies with its 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson opinion. It would be for a later Supreme Court to judge that they fell short of the "equal" requirement.
Hammurabi is the best known and most celebrated of all Mesopotamian kings. He ruled the Babylonian Empire from 1792-50 B.C.E. Although he was concerned with keeping order in his kingdom, this was not his only reason for compiling the list of laws. When he began ruling the city-state of Babylon, he had control of no more than 50 square miles of territory. As he conquered other city-states and his empire grew, he saw the need to unify the various groups he controlled.
Three years after the Supreme Court declared race-based segregation illegal, a military showdown took place in Little Rock, Arkansas, when nine black students attempted to attend the all-white Central High School on September 3, 1957.
Slaves did not accept their fate without protest. Many instances of rebellion were known to Americans, even in colonial times. These rebellions were not confined to the South. In fact, one of the earliest examples of a slave uprising was in 1712 in Manhattan. As African Americans in the colonies grew greater and greater in number, there was a justifiable paranoia on the part of the white settlers that a violent rebellion could occur in one's own neighborhood. It was this fear of rebellion that led each colony to pass a series of laws restricting slaves' behaviors. The laws were known as slave codes.
What does “civil rights” mean in the Trump era? How and why is the category evolving? This Teach-Out focuses on the civil rights aspects of two current debates–health care and the President’s seven-country travel ban–looking at politics, protest, and law. To understand these better, you will learn about foundational civil rights history dating back to Reconstruction (after the Civil War). You will also hear the perspectives of scholars in law, sociology, and political science, as well as civil rights advocates, who will all discuss how civil rights are defended and contested, often growing and contracting in response to other demands and debates. This Teach-Out ends with a call to action for you: How will you participate as our nation defines our rights?
This course will acquaint the student with some of the ancient Greek contributions to the Western philosophical and scientific tradition. We will examine a broad range of central philosophical themes concerning: nature, law, justice, knowledge, virtue, happiness, and death. There will be a strong emphasis on analyses of arguments found in the texts.
Many textbooks mention the Trail of Tears, but fail to mention that this early displacement of an ethnic minority is only the one of many legally-sanctioned forced relocations. This lesson will address the displacement of American Indians through the Trail of Tears, the forced deportation of Mexican Americans during the Great Depression, and the internment of Japanese American citizens during WWII.
Give Civics, Law, U.S. History students practice in analyzing historical Primary Source document and connect to contemporary news. Develop writing process to incorporate claims, evidence, and reasoning.
There are several hundred thousand Brownfield sites across the country. The large number of sites, combined with how a majority of these properties are located in urban and historically underserved communities, dictate that redevelopment of these sites stands to be a common theme in urban planning for the foreseeable future. Students form a grounded understanding of the Brownfield lifecycle: how and why they were created, their potential role in community revitalization, and the general processes governing their redevelopment. Using case studies and guest speakers from the public, private and non-profit sectors, students develop and hone skills to effectively address the problems posed by these inactive sites.
This course examines American constitutional law in historical and modern context. It focuses closely on the constitutional text and Supreme Court case law. It explores the allocation of decision-making authority among government institutions, including the distribution of power across the branches of the federal government and between the federal and state governments. The course also examines the guarantees of individual rights and liberties stemming from the due process, equal protection, and other clauses in the Bill of Rights and post Civil War amendments.
An introduction to the cross-cultural study of bio-medical ethics. Examines moral foundations of the science and practice of western bio-medicine through case studies of abortion, contraception, cloning, organ transplantation and other issues. Evaluates challenges that new medical technologies pose to the practice and availability of medical services around the globe, and to cross-cultural ideas of kinship and personhood. Discusses critiques of the bio-medical tradition from anthropological, feminist, legal, religious, and cross-cultural theorists.
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This unit asks students to consider the permissible restrictions schools can place on students’ freedom of speech, as they learn about the (fictional, but realistic) case of Davis v. Ann Arbor School Board. Students will either conduct a mock negotiation in which they will try to resolve a First Amendment-related conflict between a student and his public high school, or a mock argument in which they will argue for one side in front of a panel of student judges.
This Unit contains 9 lessons:
Lesson 1: Are schools permitted to limit students’ First Amendment freedom of speech?
Lesson 2: Under what circumstances may a school punish student speech?
Lesson 3: How does the law apply to our case?
Lesson 4: What are the key elements of negotiation?
Lesson 5: How can parties use negotiation to achieve the best solution?
Lesson 6: Is negotiation an effective tool in the legal process?
Lesson 7: What is a mock argument?
Lesson 8: How do I prepare for a mock argument?
Lesson 9: How do attorneys conduct oral arguments to advocate for their clients?
Through most of U.S. history, women had limited access to educational programs and extracurricular activities. Most women were excluded from elite academic institutions, and those schools that accepted female applicants required them to have higher test scores and grades than their male counterparts. In the 1960s and 1970s, civil rights activists advocated for federal enforcement of equal opportunities for male and female students. In response, Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This unit asks students to consider the scope and application of Title IX through the examination of statutory text, federal regulations, enforcement policies, and court decisions. Students are guided to confront questions about how the provisions of Title IX ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of gender, and to think about what sex equality means across different contexts.
This unit contains 5 lessons:
Lesson 1: Conceptualizing Equality and Non-Discrimination
Lesson 2: Analyzing Title IX and Athletics
Lesson 3: Applying Title IX Beyond Sports
Lesson 4: Applying Title IX
Lesson 5: Reshaping Title IX