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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Behind the Scenes Look at the Iconic National Press Club

Videos | December 17, 2020

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty, discusses the iconic National Press Club with journalist, author and professor, Gil Klein.


Building Bridges – Dr. Frank Smith and the Civil Rights Movement

Podcast | December 14, 2020

This episode of Building Bridges looks at the history of the Civil Rights movement in the United States with one of its original leaders, Dr. Frank Smith.


Building Bridges – John Lewis

Podcast | November 2, 2020

This episode of Building Bridges looks at the three-decade partnership of the Close Up Foundation and the Civil Rights icon, Representative John Lewis of Georgia.


LGBTQ Equality: Past, Present & the Election

Videos | October 28, 2020

 During this Close Up Conversations webinar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Mia Charity, discusses ‘LGBTQ Equality’ with Bob Witeck, President of Witeck Communications, Inc. Communications and strategy expert Bob Witeck will discuss LGBTQ rights, focusing on his decade in the Senate, and on the role of corporations in advocating change and acceptance based on his 27 years working with […]


Voting Rights: From the Civil War to the Present

Videos | October 1, 2020

During this seminar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty, discusses ‘Voting Rights: From the Civil War to the Present’ with Dr. Frank Smith and Dawn Chitty from the African American Civic War Museum.  


Summer Round-Up #3: Protests, Police Reform, and Civil Unrest

Post | September 9, 2020

This summer has been more dramatic and more tumultuous than any other in recent memory. To help teachers and students explore key issues from this summer, we have done a series of summer round-up articles including developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and our review of the 2020 campaigns and conventions. In our third and […]


Religious Liberty & COVID-19

Videos | June 4, 2020

During this seminar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses ‘Religious Liberty & COVID-19′ with Benjamin P. Marcus, Religious Literacy Specialist with the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute.  Benjamin talks about the First Amendment and the restrictions places on religious institutions during the pandemic. 


COVID 19 Open Sign

Enforcing Social Distancing & Wearing Masks

Post | May 27, 2020

In order to combat the spread of COVID-19, people are making many changes in their habits and routines. Two central recommendations of public health officials are that people remain socially distant1 by staying six or more feet from people and avoiding non-essential trips outside the home, and that people wear masks when in public.2 This […]


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