Congressional Timeline

The Congressional Timeline, developed and maintained by The Dirksen Congressional Center, arrays more than 900 of the nation’s laws on a timeline beginning with the first Congress in 1789 and continuing to the present. A second timeline “band” depicts major political events as context for Congress’s law-making.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Timelines
  • Subject: Legislative Branch/Congress
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (2015)

Did Proposition 106 violate the Elections Clause of the US Constitution by removing congressional districting power from the state legislature? The case summary provides the facts, and the Supreme Court’s answer to this question.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Act III: How Did the Constitutional Convention Work Out the Details of Government?

This short video examines the role played by the Committee on Detail in defining the powers of Congress, the most important of which were the power to tax and the power to regulate commerce. The Committee wanted to promote an interstate commercial republic and specified congressional powers to achieve that goal. According to Professor Gordon Lloyd, the inclusion of the “necessary and proper clause” was the most significant contribution of this Committee.

  • Resource Type: Video
  • Subject: Legislative Branch/Congress
  • Grades: 10, 11, 12

govinfo.gov

govinfo.gov offers a way to discover and access Government information from the three branches of the U.S. Government. Search or browse more than 50 collections of legislative, executive, and judicial primary source content. Find: Congressional bills, hearings, or the Congressional Record; Executive orders, presidential speeches, and regulations in the Federal Register; Opinions from more than 100 U.S. courts, and more. Use govinfo.gov on any device for official, digital, and secure content.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Constitutional Index – Congressional Regulation of Elections Clause

The Constitutional Index breaks down the U.S. Constitution by Section, Amendment, and Clause and contains broader topics and themes. These are used to cross-reference Library resources in an effort to annotate constitutional history.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Legislative Branch/Congress
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Congress at Work: The Presidential Veto and Congressional Veto Override Process

Students will use a facsimile of a vetoed bill and veto message to understand the veto and veto override process in Congress. Referring to the Constitution, students will match the Constitution’s directions to the markings and language of the bill and veto message. Students will then investigate motives for using the veto and override powers, and how the powers reflect the Constitution’s checks and balances.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12