Skip to main content

29 resources available

Video

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.

Timeline

Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution gives the president the power to make treaties with other countries, with the approval of two-thirds of the Senate.

Timeline

Article I creates the two sections of Congress – the Senate and the House – and outlines its powers and limits.

Timeline

The framers specified the powers of Congress in great detail in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution. They include the power to declare war.

Handout

This lesson explores the four Supreme Court cases known as the Guantanamo cases. These cases are examples of how the Court, the president and even Congress fought to balance national security and civil liberties during the war on terror, a war that continues to this day.

Handout

This lesson focuses on the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, which challenged the extent to which the president of the United States can exercise power during times of foreign conflict.

Handout

In this lesson, students learn about the role of an independent judiciary in the United States. Through a cooperative learning jigsaw activity, they focus on operational differences, essential functions, limited powers, and controversial issues.

Handout

This lesson tells the law-changing story behind the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Students gain insight into law-making process and consider how statutory decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court can prompt better laws.

Video

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.

Video

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.

Video

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.

Video

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.

Video

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.

Video

This documentary tells the story of Lilly Ledbetter and her U.S. Supreme Court case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.. Ledbetter’s fight for equal pay for equal work eventually involved all three branches of government and resulted in the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

Timeline

The Constitution is ratified. Article 1, Section 8 gives Congress the authority “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”