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United States — Constitution
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1.

Our Constitution: A Conversation

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United States Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer talk about the Constitution with high school students and discuss why we have and need a constitution, what federalism is, how implicit and explicit rights are defined and how separation of powers ensures that no one branch of government obtains too much power.
DVD
2005
Clemons (Stacks)
2.

Key Constitutional Concepts

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"These three 20- minute videos examine key constitutional concepts. The first explains why the nation's framers created the Constitution. The second describes the protection of individual rights by highlighting the Supreme Court case of Gideon v. Wainwright, affirming the right to an attorney. The last explores the separation of powers by examining the Supreme Court case of Youngstown v. Sawyer, a challenge to President Truman's decision to take over steel mills during the Korean War"--Container.
DVD
2006
Clemons (Stacks)
3.

Take This or Nothing: Rethinking the Debate Over the Constitution

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An overview of the heated national debate on the U.S. Constitution during the ratification process from Sept. 17, 1787 to July 26, 1788, and the impact on the nation of some of the ideas adopted and not adopted. The lecture is preceded by short addresses on Tracy W. McGregor, the McGregor library and the McGregor Fund. A question and answer period follows the lecture.
VHS
2006
Ivy (By Request)
4.

Public Service, the Constitution, and the Rule of Law

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In the keynote address at the 2006 Conference on Public Service & the Law at the University of Virginia Law School, Senator Kennedy discusses public service law and the Constitution.
VHS
2006
Ivy (By Request)
5.

The Changing Face of the Supreme Court

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Howard traces Supreme Court decisions from 1905 to the present in explaining how various courts have "reinvented" the Constitution, citing landmark rulings on issues such as civil rights, abortion, privacy, and separation of church and state.
VHS
2002
Ivy (By Request)
6.

A New System of Government [electronic resource]

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Professor Maier focuses on the struggle to define a new system of government in the Constitution of the United States. The Republic survives a series of threats to its union culminating in the deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on July 4th, 1826.
Online
2000
7.

Campaign Spending [electronic resource]: Money and Media

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Should government regulate the electoral process? Do limits on campaign spending infringe on First Amendment rights? The episode reviews recent attempts to reform campaign financing and the increasing importance of the media as areas where regulation might be appropriate. Political consultant David Garth; Washington Post columnist, David Broder, Bill Moyers and other debate the issues.
Online
1984
8.

National Security and Freedom of the Press [electronic resource]

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Explores the issue of national security in relation to freedom of the press, utilizing discussion between former CIA Director James Schlesinger and journalists Brit Hume and Dan Rather as they explore the question of whether the Constitution grants the American public a "right to know."
Online
1984
9.

The Constitution [electronic resource]: Fixed or Flexible?

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Examines the search for balance between the original Constitution and the need to interpret and adjust it to meet the needs of changing times. Details the original Jeffersonian-Madisonian debate, the concept of checks and balances, and the stringent procedures for amending the Constitution. Case studies include legislative decisions about capital punishment for mentally retarded individuals, President Truman's veto of the Taft-Hartley Bill, and the fight for women's suffrage in the United States.
Online
2003
10.

Civil Liberties [electronic resource]: Safeguarding the Individual

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Examines the First, Fourth, and Sixth Constitutional Amendments to show how the Bill of Rights protects individual citizens from excessive or arbitrary government interference, yet, contrary to the belief of many Americans, does not grant unlimited rights. Case studies include the censorship of a high school newspaper, drug testing for extra-curricular activities in high schools, and media coverage of the Sam Sheppard trial.
Online
2003
11.

Civil Rights [electronic resource]: Demanding Equality

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Examines the guarantees of political and social equality in the U.S. Constitution and the roles that individuals and government have played in expanding these guarantees to African Americans, women, and the disabled. Case studies include the landmark case of Brown vs. the Board of Education, the fight for equal opportunities for women athletes in Michigan, and the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Online
2003
12.

Legislatures [electronic resource]: Laying Down the Law

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Explores the idea that legislatures, although contentious bodies, are institutions composed of men and women who make representative democracy work by reflecting and reconciling the wide diversity of views held by Americans. Case studies include the work of John McCain and others to reform campaign funding, the fight for "Death with Dignity" laws in Oregon, and a day in the life of Representative Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland.
Online
2003
13.

The Modern Presidency [electronic resource]: Tools of Power

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Traces the changes in the Presidency from the 1930's to today. Shows how Presidents today are overtly active in the legislative process, use the media to appeal directly to the people and exercise leadership over an "institutional presidency" with thousands of aides. Cases studies include Johnson's personal campaign to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Nixon's use of the publicity from his attempted assassination to pass his tax cuts legislation and an introduction to President Clinton's "West Wing" support team.
Online
2003
14.

Bureaucracy [electronic resource]: A Controversial Necessity

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Reveals how the American bureaucracy delivers significant services directly to the people, how it has expanded in response to citizen demands for increased government services, and how bureaucrats sometimes face contradictory expectations that are difficult to satisfy. Case studies include FIMA's support for tornado victims in Maryland, government response to environmental concerns during the 60's and 70's, and child labor laws that prevented children under sixteen from becoming teenage umpires.
Online
2003
15.

The Courts [electronic resource]: Our Rule of Law

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Examines the role of courts as institutions dedicated to conflict resolution, with the power to apply and to interpret the meaning of law in trial and appeal courts. Reveals the difficulty of creating a judiciary that is independent of politics and the increased power the Supreme Court has acquired through its use of judicial review. Case studies include the trial of Rodney King and the ensuing L.A. riots, the Supreme Court decision in the Bush/Gore presidential election, and the appointment of Joyce Bird as Chief Justice of California.
Online
2003
16.

The Media [electronic resource]: Inside Story

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Explores the media as an integral part of American democracy, highlighting its scrutiny of the performance of public officials, the interdependence of politics and the media, and the power the media wields in selecting the news. Examples include the Washington Post's investigation of the deaths of 240 children and subsequent challenge of D.C. Child Protection Services; the press' revelation of the dangers of smoking during the "Tobacco Wars", and a field trip to CNN.
Online
2003
17.

Public Opinion [electronic resource]: Voice of the People

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Examines the power of public opinion to influence government policy, the increasing tendency of public officials to rely on polls, and the need to use many forms of feedback to get an accurate measure of public opinion. Examples include the ABC/Washington post poll on federalizing airport security screening post September 11th; the construction of polls to predict the outcome of presidential elections including Ross Perot's biased opinion poll, and the public outcry when civil unions for gay and lesbian couples were approved in Vermont.
Online
2003
18.

Political Parties [electronic resource]: Mobilizing Agents

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Explains how political parties perform important functions that link the public to the institutions of American government. Parties create coalitions of citizens who share political goals, elect candidates to public office to achieve those goals, and organize the legislative and executive branches of government. Examples include the political advancement of Cindy Montañez, Mayor of the city of San Fernando; the 1993 mayorial race in New York City as a revelation of the differences between Democrats and Republican, and how Senator Jim Jefford's 1991 decision to change his allegiance shifted the balance of power in the Congress and directly influenced the investigation of Enron.
Online
2003
19.

Elections [electronic resource]: The Maintenance of Democracy

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Explores the crucial role of strategy in the two-stage electoral campaign system; the opportunities for citizens to choose, organize, and elect candidates who will pursue policies they favor and the need for campaigns to increase voter turnout by educating citizens about the importance and influence of their vote. Examples include campaign initiatives to elect Kennedy in spite of the fact that he was a Catholic; grassroots political activism in Montgomery County, Maryland, and the 1990's campaign by rock musicians to enourage young people to vote and sway opinions on music censorship issues.
Online
2003
20.

Interest Groups [electronic resource]: Organizing to Influence

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Shows how America's large number of corporate, citizen-action, and grass-roots interest groups enhance our representative process by giving citizens a role in shaping policy agendas. Examples include the controversy and lobbying over the "Crusader" weapsons system; the opposition of the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support to the proposed 2002 changes to the Welfare Bill, and citizen action that prevented highways from being built through the center of South Pasadena, California.
Online
2003