CIVIL RIGHTS & INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES

Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Civil Rights & Individual Liberties and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

Civil Rights and Individual Liberties in Context

How have Civil Rights and Individual Liberties changed throughout our history and what are the policies today? Learn More >

Current Issue Debates

Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.

 

Red Flag Gun Laws

Available for Middle & High School

Should governments enact "red flag" gun laws? Learn More >

A Bakery, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Supreme Court

Available for Middle & High School

Does the First Amendment allow a business to deny services to people on the basis of the business owner’s religious beliefs? Learn More >

Confederate Flag License Plates and the Supreme Court

Did the Supreme Court make the right decision in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.? Learn More >

Drug-Sniffing Dogs and the Supreme Court

Is the use of a K-9 unit, after the conclusion of a traffic stop and without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures? Learn More >

The Equality Act

Available for Middle & High School

Should Congress amend the Civil Rights Act to include discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity? Learn More >

Abortion and Genetic Testing

Available for Middle & High School

Should the federal government pass a law that outlaws abortions based on disability discovered through prenatal genetic testing? Learn More >

Videos from Policy Makers

Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.

 

The Equality Act

Congressmen David Cicilline (D-RI) & Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)
July 14, 2021

Felon Voting Rights

Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) & Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL) 
February 11, 2021

Mental Health & Gun Ownership

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) & Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND)
April 5, 2021

Lesson Plans

These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Civil Rights & Individual Liberties

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Capitol Hill: Internships, Careers & Opportunities

Videos | November 23, 2021

During this #CloseUpConversations webinar, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, we discuss internships and career pathways that drive policy-making on Capitol Hill.


Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center via MDPI

Indian Boarding Schools: The Truth and Healing Commission

Post | November 9, 2021

In September 2021, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives reintroduced the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act, which would establish a commission to “investigate, document, and acknowledge past injustices of the federal government’s Indian Boarding School Policies.”1 The commission would use its findings to recommend actions […]


Brackeen v. Haaland, Part 2: Challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act

Post | November 4, 2021

Part 2: The Current Debate Facing the U.S. Supreme Court For more information about the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 and the history of its enactment, please read part one of this series. Brackeen v. Haaland is a complex case that challenges the constitutionality of the ICWA. In the opinion of some, the […]


Brackeen v. Haaland: Challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act

Post | October 27, 2021

The case of Brackeen v. Haaland is currently facing the U.S. Supreme Court. The case calls into question the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978. The two major questions in the case are: (1) Is the ICWA unconstitutional on the basis of racial discrimination because of its favoring of Native families […]


A Supreme Court Preview

Videos | October 14, 2021

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses the Supreme Court with guest speaker Steven Schwinn, professor of law at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law.


Facebook Regulations

Should Facebook Be Regulated?

Post | October 12, 2021

Last week, whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former project manager for Facebook’s Civic Integrity team, testified before Congress and criticized the social media company as a dangerous, unchecked force that was “buying its profits with our safety.”1 Haugen faulted the senior leadership at Facebook for identifying safety risks yet refusing to make the necessary changes to […]


Supreme Court Preview: The 2021-2022 Term

Post | October 5, 2021

The Supreme Court begins its new term on the first Monday in October, a tradition that dates back to 1917.1 This year, that meant yesterday, Monday, October 4. In the term ahead, the Court is set to take up many key constitutional and legal issues. To explore those issues, Close Up is offering a free […]


Texas S.B. 8 and the Future of Reproductive Rights

Post | September 29, 2021

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court declined to review a new Texas law (S.B. 8) restricting abortion access in the state after six weeks of pregnancy. Under the provisions of the law, women in Texas are legally prohibited from receiving an abortion, doctors are prohibited from performing an abortion, and third parties (such as […]


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