Preserving the Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights and The Founders
Provides an introduction and overview of the Bill of Rights, including the Founders’ understanding of the “rights of Englishmen,” British law, and natural rights philosophy. This unit also examines the Federalist and Anti-Federalist debate about a bill of rights.
The Bill of Rights and Religion
Explores the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause, including studies of the Founders’ understanding of both. The unit explores the constitutionality of government action relating to religion as well as the relationship between the government and religious institutions. The unit also investigates instances where “free exercise” and “establishment” might conflict.
The Bill of Rights and Free Speech
Focuses on First Amendment protection of free speech, free assembly, and petition of government. The unit also examines the evolution of the definitions of protected expression in speech, petition, assembly, art, and demonstration.
The Bill of Rights and Freedoms of the Press - Assembly - and Petition
First Amendment freedoms like press, assembly, and petition are essential to self-government. The Founders saw these freedoms as a bulwark of free, republican government and a means of assuring justice.
The Bill of Rights and Property
Spotlights safeguards to property in the Bill of Rights, explores various types of property, and examines the concepts of takings, just compensation, and eminent domain.
The Bill of Rights and Due Process
Covers search and seizure, rights of the accused, due process of law, jury trials, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment guaranteed in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.
The Bill of Rights and Liberty
Explores the unenumerated rights reserved to the people with reference to the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments, with a focus on rights including travel, political affiliation, and privacy. Probes the ways the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments have been used to claim rights to personal liberty.
The Bill of Rights and Federalism
Explores the powers reserved to the states as provided by the Tenth Amendment. Explains the Founders’ understanding of a federalist system and the expansion and contraction of the federal government’s power.
The Bill of Rights and Guns
Explores the origins of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. Also explores relevant Supreme Court decisions and engages students in the current debate over gun regulation.
The Bill of Rights and Incorporation
Explores incorporation of the Bill of Rights against the states as provided for in the Fourteenth Amendment. Highlights the controversies about incorporation as well as significant incorporation cases.