Interest Groups Project

This is a quick project to help you understand Interest Groups.  You are to select five interest groups and answer the following questions: date of origin, purpose of group, number of members, member requirements, benefits offered to members.  Also briefly discuss a recent press release from the group or find a recent article from a news source related to the group.

To assist in your knowledge of Interest Groups, here is a quick reading that will help.

Interest Group Reading Part 2

Civil Liberties and Rights Webquest

Civil Liberties vs. Civil Rights:

Let’s start out by identifying the difference between civil liberties and civil rights. Click the link below and then define civil liberties and civil rights 

=>Define civil liberties and civil rights

Civil Liberties:

Next, let’s learn about the civil liberties that are protected by the Bill of Rights. Specifically, we’re going to study the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments. Click the link below and then, in your own words, briefly describe each amendment. 

=>Bill of Rights

So, now you should know what your rights are. But, what happens when a citizen believes his rights have been violated and another citizen or the government disagrees? If you just whispered “the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution and applies its interpretation to that case,” then SHOUT IT! You’re RIGHT! However, those rulings do not merely apply to the specific cases in question. Often, a case where one person believes his constitutional rights have been violated ends up having a broader effect on society.

Let’s look at some examples of Supreme Court decisions that have both limited and expanded our most basic freedoms. For each, click on the link and then briefly describe the impact of the case.

1st Amendment:

=>Prayer in School

=>Hate Speech

2nd Amendment:

=>Handgun Ban

4th Amendment:

=>High School Drug-Testing

5th Amendment:

=>Notification of Rights

6th Amendment:

=>Right to an Attorney

8th Amendment:

=>Juvenile Execution

Acts of Congress:

In addition to Supreme Court rulings, Acts of Congress may alter the meaning of your rights as well. That is, Congress may pass any law it would like and it remains the law until someone challenges, sues, and successfully overturns its constitutionality. Such lawsuits are time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, critics argue that Congress may temporarily pass a law that is clearly unconstitutional if the goal is only to use it for a short period of time. Also, the Supreme Court requires that an individual clearly demonstrate that he has personally been harmed by an unconstitutional law in order to have standing in court. It’s not enough to recognize a violation of constitutional rights. You must clearly demonstrate that you were personally harmed. So, even if a law may violate some people’s constitutional rights, others who recognize the violation but are not personally harmed cannot bring a lawsuit. This requirement for standing has prevented the Court from hearing cases on “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, among others.

Patriot Act:

One Act of Congress that has generated controversy regarding civil liberties is the Patriot Act. Click on the link below, read the article, and then briefly describe the Patriot Act and why it is controversial.

=>Patriot Act

Civil Rights:

So, now you’ve learned about the limits of your civil rights. But, what about civil rights? You’ve already defined them, so let’s look at how they actually work in practice. Whereas most civil liberties controversies are related to the Bill of Rights, most civil rights laws are rooted in the 14th Amendment. Click on the link below and then briefly describe, in your own words, what Section 1 of the 14th Amendment means where indicated on your graphic organizer. Also, there are two parts of Section 1, both 5 words in length, that are considered the most important. Write down what you think these two parts are.

=>14th Amendment

Some major civil rights cases and laws have come out of those two, five-word parts of the 14th Amendment. Let’s look at a major case and two major laws related to the 14th Amendment. Click on each link and then briefly describe the impact.

=>School Segregation

=>Civil Rights Act

Civil Rights Readings

Here are the readings for Civil Rights.  Please email your  responses to lwaddell@tempeunion.org

Plessy v Ferguson

Explain the separate but equal doctrine.  Discuss the impact of this decision on society in the early 1900’s.

Bakke v California

Do you agree with Brennan’s suggestion that a racial classification designed to remedy past discrimination should not be treated as fully suspect?  Explain your answer.  Is there a place for affirmative action in education?

Here are two other cases that you need to be familiar with for quizzes and upcoming exams.

Dred Scott

Brown v Board

Current Event-8th Amendment

This current event will deal with the 8th Amendment. You will find a story that is related to any part of the 8th Amendment. This may include court cases as well as articles, or news stories. The story can come from any reputable source. Sources such as New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR to name a few are good places to look.

The assignment is due at the end of the class period it was assigned

Current Event

Judicial Branch Project

This project will be a bit different than the others.  Below you will find ten court cases that some consider the top 10 cases of all time that have gone before the Supreme Court.  You need to write a short paragraph for each that sums up the case.  Be sure to include if the case overturns any other case and whether you believe it is Judicial Activism or Judicial Restraint.

You will see these court cases on a quiz, test and final exam.

Top Ten Court Cases

New Jersey vs. TLO
Roe vs. Wade
Lemon vs. Kurtzman
Plessey vs. Ferguson
Tinker vs. Des Moines School District
Gideon vs. Wainwright
Miranda vs. Arizona
Marbury vs. Madison
Brown vs. Board of Education
Dred Scott vs. Sanford