My Constitution, Myself

image courtesy Kyle Rush

Taught by Glenna

By day, Glenna teaches social studies at a high school in downtown Brooklyn. In her spare time, she likes “Jeopardy,” needlepoint, trivia, rock climbing, and captive audiences. She especially loves talking about history.

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We the people. Miranda Rights. Free Speech. “Separate but Equal.” Right to Privacy. Commerce Clause.

For some of us, these things are the topic of daily conversation. For others…high school was a long time ago. Yet, no matter our knowledge of our system of government, the Constitution is a document that impacts our lives, even if we don’t know it. This class will introduce you to a whole new way of understanding the Constitution and more importantly, how it affects us every day.

First, we’ll engage in an overview of the Constitution. In two hundred some years, it’s only been changed twenty-seven times. We’ll begin our exploration with a brief discussion of the history of this document and previous American systems of government.

Next, we’ll delve into the inner workings of each part of our government. Expect references to Montesquieu, federalism, and states’ rights. Thank you, Mr. Jefferson.

Finally, and this will comprise the bulk of our conversation, we’ll analyze ten Supreme Cases that have shaped American history. Beginning with Marbury v. Madison, we’ll look at how justices have interpreted the Constitution for better and for worse, and how the legacy of those decisions relates to us today. Featured cases include: McCulloch v. Maryland, Dred Scott v. Sanford, Schenk v. United States, Reed v. Reed and many more.

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