Constitution Day 2016
Can't decipher all the jargon in the U.S. Constitution? Use this Interactive Constitution to get clear explanations from Dr. Linda Monk, a constitutional scholar, journalist, and award winning author, and the Annenberg Classroom, presented by the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2004, Congress passed an amendment proposed by Senator Robert Byrd that requires educational institutions that receive federal funding to teach the Constitution on September 17. This day is designated as the day for citizens to commemorate the signing of the Constitution and learn more about our founding document.
Educators, register here for your school or classroom to take the 2016 Preamble Challenge in order to celebrate Constitution Day on September 17, 2016 and fulfill your Byrd Amendment requirements. You'll receive a free Preamble Challenge Teacher Toolkit to host your own Preamble activity in your classroom!
Current Constitutional Cases
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (2013/2016) - The Supreme Court is considering whether the University of Texas at Austin's consideration of race in undergraduate admissions is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This is the second challenge by Fisher regarding UT Austin's admissions policy, who argues that she was denied admission to UT Austin because she is white.
According to UT Austin, the year that Fisher applied (2008) was an extremely competitive year. The school automatically offered admission to students in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. Fisher did not finish in the top 10% of her high school class, and was left to compete for the 841 spots remaining for students not in the top 10% of their class.
Should race be a considering factor in the admissions process? Do you think that colleges and universities should actively work to create a diverse population on their campuses?
United States v. Texas (2016) - This is a pending U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) progam, which grants deferred action to illegal immigrants who are the parents of a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. Under DAPA, illegal immigrants who are parents of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident could have their deportation delayed indefinitely by the executive branch of government. The DAPA program has been challenged in federal court by 26 states.
Is the DAPA program constitutional? Should parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents be separated from their children because of their illegal immigration status? Why do you think so many states have challenged the DAPA program?