Written in Times New Roman, 12-point font, one-inch margins, double-spaced,
Length: 300 words minimum
No citations required, but you are should certainly cite anything you use that is not original, of course.
Each part should be separated.
Civil Rights Reflection
We’ve studied Civil Liberties and Equal Rights, and I’m sure you have lots of thoughts about the status of liberties and rights in America today. I’d like for you to reflect briefly on the status of civil liberties and equal rights. Here are some ideas for things you might talk about (but what I really want is your reflection about the state of civil rights in America today):
Have we as a society done enough to promote equality for all citizens?
Have we done too much?
Do we still need to provide assistance to historically underprivileged groups?
Has the time passed when that assistance was needed or productive?
Have we achieved equality, or nearly so? If not, will we ever achieve true equality?
Should we be tearing down public statues of people like Civil War generals?
What do you think?
Supreme Court Case Reflection
Your Reflection should be based on a court case from the following list. You should include, as with any assignment you ever do for any class, citations to any sources you consult. Use a standard MLA format Works Cited page. Ensure that I can easily navigate to any source you cite. I’m actually less worried about the technical detail of constructing proper citations than I am my ability easily – hopefully with one click – to access any source you use, assuming you use online sources. If you use other, non-online sources, be sure to use an appropriate citation.
Here are the court cases you may choose from:
Snyder v. Phelps (2010)
Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (2011)
Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)
Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (2002)
Engel v. Vitale (1962)
In your Reflection you should answer the following questions:
- What case did you write about?
- What was the dispute in the case you chose? (Don’t tell the whole story. I know it. Just tell me enough that I can see that you actually read and understand the actual basis of the dispute. Remember that headlines frequently misstate what’s going on.)
- What arguments were made by the side you disagreed with?
- What arguments were made by the side you agreed with?
- Why are your arguments better than the other side’s?
- What did the court decide in your case?
- Did you agree with the decision?
I’m interested in what kinds of government policy you would promote as president.
Please write a brief reflection on what your first priority would be if you became president. Think about what you believe to be important for America. What’s wrong with America that you would change? What should our highest priority be? How should we go about pursuing that priority? Remember – you’re president and can set the agenda.
Here are some specific questions you may use if you like, to frame your response:
- What is America’s biggest problem? Or what is America’s most urgent need? Or what is the thing that if the U.S. government were successful in accomplishing it would make the biggest positive difference? This can be either domestic or foreign policy related. It’s in bounds to propose an area where the U.S. could provide global leadership, if that’s what you think is most important.
- Think big, but don’t be totally unrealistic. It’s not OK to recommend “A Mars base by 2022.” That is (as much as I personally hate to say so) not a possibility.
- What are the most important steps that need to be taken to respond to the issue you’ve identified?
- What data support your contention that this is the most pressing need? What data support your contention that your proposed action(s) would meet that need?
A Federalist representative democracy requires both personal responsibility and social responsibility of its citizens through personal involvement in the democratic process and the understanding that there are many interests to consider in a democracy. Both personal responsibility and social responsibility may be reflected in the process of voting.
Please write a 2-page essay discussing whether and how
a) the act of voting is the personal responsibility of every citizen, and
b) citizens have a social responsibility to consider how his or her individual vote will affect the diverse interests of the broader community.