Being An American ELL

The Bill of Rights (ELL)

Clock Two fifty-minute class periods

For the Bill of Rights to remain more than what Madison referred to as a “parchment barrier,” citizens must understand the purpose, content, and meaning of this important American document. In this lesson, students will identify and analyze the protections in the Bill of Rights as well as evaluate Supreme Court decisions in cases centered on Bill of Rights protections.

Founding Principles

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Equal Protection

The principle of equal justice under law means that every individual is equal to every other person in regards to natural rights and treatment before the law. There are no individuals or groups who are born with the right to rule over others.

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Equality

Every individual is equal to every other person in regards to natural rights and treatment before the law.

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Freedom of Religion

The freedom to exercise one's own religious beliefs without interference from the government is essential to the existence of a free society.

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Freedom of Speech

The freedom to express one's opinions without interference from the the government is critical to the maintenance of liberty within a free society.

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Inalienable / Natural Rights

Freedoms which belong to us by nature and can only be justly taken away through due process.

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Limited Government

Citizens are best able to pursue happiness when government is confined to those powers which protect their life, liberty, and property.

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Property Rights

The natural right of all individuals to create, obtain, and control their possessions, beliefs, faculties, and opinions, as well as the fruits of their labor.

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Rule of Law

Government and citizens all abide by the same laws regardless of political power. Those laws respect individual rights, are transparently enacted, are justly applied, and are stable.

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