41 resources available

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The story about the struggle over the Bill of Rights is told in this documentary, which explains how these individual freedoms that often are taken for granted today were controversial among the founding fathers and how they were eventually ratified. Ten short videos address each of the amendments.

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Annenberg Classroom’s Constitution Project series contains engaging documentaries about landmark Supreme Court cases and constitutional topics. The films, which may be shown in one class period, feature insightful commentary from Supreme Court justices, legal scholars, and the plaintiffs and attorneys in the cases as well as historical footage. Standards-aligned lesson plans accompany the films. Watch this video to learn more about the series and how to use the films in the classroom.

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The complex relationship between the presidency and public opinion is examined by leading historians, political scientists and public figures who also offer insight into the office and its occupants from George Washington to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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This video tells the story of the origins of the Magna Carta and explores the two most important principles that it symbolizes: rule of law and due process. Students will learn how the framers interpreted and redefined the rule of law and due process when they created our Constitution.

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This video tells the story of the origins of the Magna Carta and explores the two most important principles that it symbolizes: rule of law and due process. Students will learn how the framers interpreted and redefined the rule of law and due process when they created our Constitution. And they will understand how those rights have been expanded and protected by the U.S. Supreme Court through two landmark Supreme Court cases: U.S. v. Nixon and Powell v. Alabama.

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These 24 video lectures are part of an online course called Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases, which is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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Tension between the states and the federal government has been a constant throughout U.S. history. This video explores the supremacy clause in Article VI of the Constitution and key moments in the power struggle, including the landmark case McCulloch v. Maryland.

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The Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause gives the accused the right “to be confronted with the witnesses against him” at a criminal trial. This video uses the U.S. Supreme Court case Crawford v. Washington to help explain the history and importance of the confrontation clause and why the framers knew it would be crucial to an effective system of justice.”

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This documentary examines the First Amendment’s protection of a free press as well as the historic origins of this right and the ramifications of the landmark ruling in New York Times v. United States, the Pentagon Papers case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prior restraint is unconstitutional.

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In these five videos, judges explain separation of powers and the roles of the three branches of government as well as landmark cases related to separation of powers.

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In 1957, Dollree Mapp stood up to police who tried to enter her home without a search warrant. Her act of defiance led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Mapp v. Ohio that limited police powers. This documentary explores the Fourth Amendment case in which the Court ruled that evidence illegally obtained by police is not admissible in state courts.

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This three-part documentary discusses why and how the Constitution was created at the Constitutional Convention, explores the protection of individuals’ rights in Gideon v. Wainwright, and examines the limits of presidential power in Youngstown v. Sawyer.

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One of our oldest human rights, habeas corpus safeguards individual freedom by preventing unlawful or arbitrary imprisonment. This documentary examines habeas corpus and the separation of powers in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks through four Guantanamo Bay cases: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Rasul v. Bush, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and Boumediene v. Bush.

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This documentary explores the landmark Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona that said criminal suspects, at the time of their arrest but before any interrogation, must be told of their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and Sixth Amendment right to an attorney.

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Four short videos explain the significance of presidential signing statements: Separation of Powers, Non-Enforcement, the Unitary Theory and the President’s Intent. Hosted by Gwen Ifill, senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

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This documentary tells the story of a tiny school in Yosemite National Park that tries to solve its funding problem by getting a bill passed in Congress and, in the process, learns many lessons about how federal laws are made.