Saul Cornell, from Fordham University, and James Basker, the president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, discuss anti-federalism and dissent in constitutional history. Anti-federalists were advocates against the ratification of the Constitution.
Students will be able to: understand the meaning of one central idea of the First Amendment (symbolic speech); cite textual evidence to analyze a primary source (Supreme Court opinion and dissent); become familiar with reading and comprehending a Supreme Court opinion and dissent; evaluate two Supreme Court Justices’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue; and assess different arguments about the meaning and importance of the American flag as a national symbol.
This short video analyzes the final days of the Convention, when the delegates were eager to leave but also mindful of the work they had accomplished. They were “smart people who had learned from spending 88 days together” and even those opposed to the Constitution (Randolph, Mason, and Gerry) had the opportunity to dissent. Professor Gordon Lloyd agrees with Franklin that the Constitution did not achieve perfection but, rather, created a “more perfect union.”
The purpose of this lesson is to investigate the Bill of Rights through the perspective of someone living during the ratification period. After exploring the historical perspective of the Bill of Rights through study of the Dissent of the Minority in Pennsylvania, students will be asked to apply the rights they learned about to their lives today and assess, critique, and solve problems based on the modern meaning of these rights.
Justice Stephen G. Breyer and a group of high school students discuss separation of powers among the three branches of government in connection with the pay discrimination case that resulted in a 2009 law – the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The video complements the documentary A Call to Act: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.