5 December 2012
History, Professional, Teaching
analysis, compromises, constitution, history, sources of the US Constitution, US Constitution, writing, writing advice, writing to student prompt
My students recently wrote a five paragraph essay on this question:
Why is the Constitution a document of compromises?
And after they read it, I realized that they probably needed to see a model of what such a paper might look like, given the outline I’d originally suggested to them. Writing such things is hard, especially when I’d spent a week in class — grilling them not about the paper, but about the much larger question of what is government for? (i.e., what’s it supposed to do?)
So, this evening, after I graded the first batch, I figured it was time to try writing my own. It’s below the fold. More
4 January 2011
american history, constitution, constitutional law, government, history, law, US Constitution
Here’s the video on Article II of the US Constitution, dealing with the President, the Vice-President and their powers. It’s not too bad, but I feel pretty rushed in trying to get all of this into a five-minute summary. I find I have to review it pretty carefully ahead of time to make the video.
3 January 2011
america, American constitution, constitution, constitutional government, government, history, US Constitution, us history
Figuring out what to say about Article I of the Constitution in under five minutes proved to be quite challenging. I’d be interested in hearing what you think.
29 October 2008
connecticut, constitution, politics
So… It turns out that the presidential election isn’t the only thing on the books this year.
This November, voters in Connecticut will be asked: "Shall there be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the Constitution of the state?"
I certainly hope not.
Connecticut’s Article 13 provides for the voters to be asked every 20 years if they want to hold a special session of the General Assembly, to revise the state constitution. But holding a convention in Hartford isn’t change. The Convention’s membership is determined by the state’s General Assembly. So it’s politics as usual. State legislators decide who goes to the convention, not voters. So it will be a convention of lobbyists, politicians and special interests.
The public has no say on what the lobbyists propose to do to the constitution, and the amendment that the Right really wants is the right to perform referenda in every election: denying education to immigrants, banning marriage for gay people, outlawing abortion in the state and narrowing people’s rights. It’s a tactic the right has used in California, Colorado and other states, and it’s been hugely successful. Big businesses will use it to give themselves special tax breaks, overturn environmental laws and take away workers’ rights and benefits.
So vote no on the Constitutional Convention.