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CIVIL RIGHTS & INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES

Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Civil Rights & Individual Liberties and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

Civil Rights and Individual Liberties in Context

How have Civil Rights and Individual Liberties changed throughout our history and what are the policies today? Learn More >

Current Issue Debates

Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.

 

Red Flag Gun Laws

Available for Middle & High School

Should governments enact "red flag" gun laws? Learn More >

A Bakery, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Supreme Court

Available for Middle & High School

Does the First Amendment allow a business to deny services to people on the basis of the business owner’s religious beliefs? Learn More >

Confederate Flag License Plates and the Supreme Court

Did the Supreme Court make the right decision in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.? Learn More >

Drug-Sniffing Dogs and the Supreme Court

Is the use of a K-9 unit, after the conclusion of a traffic stop and without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures? Learn More >

The Equality Act

Available for Middle & High School

Should Congress amend the Civil Rights Act to include discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity? Learn More >

Abortion and Genetic Testing

Available for Middle & High School

Should the federal government pass a law that outlaws abortions based on disability discovered through prenatal genetic testing? Learn More >

A Cross on Public Property

Available for Middle & High School

Does the display and maintenance of a cross-shaped war memorial on public property violate the First Amendment? Learn More >

Abortion and the Supreme Court

Available for Middle & High School

Should the Supreme Court uphold a Louisiana law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital? Learn More >

Student Aid and Religious Schools

Available for Middle & High School

Can a state forbid students in religious schools from being eligible for a general student aid program? Learn More >

The Right to Transport a Handgun

Available for Middle & High School

Can a city ban a gun owner from transporting a licensed, locked, and unloaded handgun in their car? Learn More >

Transgender Employment Discrimination

Available for Middle & High School

Does the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaw employment discrimination based on a person’s transgender status? Learn More >

Videos from Policy Makers

Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.

 

The Equality Act

Congressmen David Cicilline (D-RI) & Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)
July 14, 2021

Felon Voting Rights

Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) & Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL) 
February 11, 2021

Mental Health & Gun Ownership

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) & Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND)
April 5, 2021

Lesson Plans

These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Civil Rights & Individual Liberties

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A Tragedy in Buffalo Sparks Multiple Debates

Post | May 26, 2022

On Saturday, May 14, a gunman killed 10 people and wounded three others in a supermarket serving a predominantly Black population in eastern Buffalo, New York. The shooter, an 18-year-old white man, traveled over 200 miles to the Tops Supermarket.1 He was the apparent author of an online screed that claims the attack was meant […]


The ERA 50 Years Later

Videos | March 24, 2022

During this #CloseUpConversations webinar Close Up is commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Rights Amendment.


LGBTQ Youth: Who Decides What Is Age-Appropriate?

Post | March 16, 2022

On February 22, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the state Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate gender-affirming medical care provided to transgender youth as child abuse, requiring mandated reporters (such as teachers, doctors, and health care workers) to pass on that information to the DFPS.1 Gender-affirming medical care for youth typically includes […]


The NFL Faces Heat Over Hiring Practices

Post | February 23, 2022

The National Football League (NFL) is in the hot seat again. This time, players and coaches are accusing the league of racial discrimination in hiring practices for coaches; more specifically, they claim that the NFL is biased against Black personnel for coveted coaching positions. In a sports league where most players are Black, most head […]


Bill of Rights Day 2021: A Conversation on Freedom of Religion

Videos | December 16, 2021

During this #CloseUpConversations webinar, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, we discuss internships and career pathways that drive policy-making on Capitol Hill.


Capitol Hill: Internships, Careers & Opportunities

Videos | November 23, 2021

During this #CloseUpConversations webinar, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, we discuss internships and career pathways that drive policy-making on Capitol Hill.


Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center via MDPI

Indian Boarding Schools: The Truth and Healing Commission

Post | November 9, 2021

In September 2021, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives reintroduced the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act, which would establish a commission to “investigate, document, and acknowledge past injustices of the federal government’s Indian Boarding School Policies.”1 The commission would use its findings to recommend actions […]


Brackeen v. Haaland, Part 2: Challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act

Post | November 4, 2021

Part 2: The Current Debate Facing the U.S. Supreme Court For more information about the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 and the history of its enactment, please read part one of this series. Brackeen v. Haaland is a complex case that challenges the constitutionality of the ICWA. In the opinion of some, the […]


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