Constitutional Law Education Project
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Constitutional Law (version 5.04)
textbook...a new concept


Constitutional Law (5th edition, version 5.04, updated July 2017)

-- a student textbook in GoogleDoc format as well as in paperback

by Rich Kitchens

·       The same great content as previous editions, only with many new cases (updated through the 2016-2017 term)

·       Updated analysis of the “Roberts Court” and the Supreme Court nomination process

·       Updated “PROBLEMS” and “HOT TOPICS” that will get students involved right now!

·       Updated info on the 2016 presidential election voting results and analysis as well as the first six months of the Trump presidency

·       We checked all the Internet links and edited and updated them!

·       Incredible LOW price of $5 per textbook for GoogleDoc

·       An updated and expanded Teacher’s Guide that reflects contemporary events, updated links, and some new exercises and lessons--now available in convenient CD format for only $60!

This is the ONLY textbook that approaches Constitutional Law in the high school through the inductive method. Hundreds of open-ended, thought-provoking questions challenge students to arrive at their own answers to enduring questions. Debate on fundamental issues is inevitable. Watch as your classroom comes alive with vigorous, intellectual battle. Class discussions rise to new levels of analysis.

Explore the recent redistricting cases, the BONG HiTS 4 JESUS case, the juvenile death penalty case, the death penalty for child rapists case, the evolving gun ban cases, the new campaign financing cases, the anonymous tip case, same-sex marriage cases, the latest affirmative action case, the HobbyLobby case, the California teacher tenure case, the Facebook threats case, the American flag on the t-shirt case, the religious rights in the workplace case, and the Obamacare cases …and many more

Students are encouraged to write their own opinions on the key legal questions of our time. The brand new version will contain more than TEN new cases, updated since the version 5.03 last year. Key cases being argued in the Supreme Court are previewed.  

Courts around the United States are struggling with a new search and seizure warrant exception, commonly called the “community caretaker exception.” This edition of Constitutional Law is the only textbook that examines this emerging concept that students are becoming painfully aware of—the hard way. Your students will energetically debate the role of the police and the extent of the “exclusionary rule” in modern America.

Rich Kitchens has taught Constitutional Law at the HIGH SCHOOL level for thirty years. His course at Piedmont High—taught solely with his own textbook and kept updated with a keen eye for newsworthy events—uses the inductive method to encourage critical thinking and intellectual development. It does NOT emphasize rote learning. It IS challenging and invigorating…for the students as well as the teacher.

This twelfth grade level textbook contains more than two hundred open-ended problems to draw out student responses to the intellectually challenging curriculum. More than one hundred cases are factually summarized… and then the students have at them! Students learn by doing and become emotionally involved in their own learning. Dozens of “HOT TOPICS” focus student attention on one particular controversial area of the civic arena.

What is the structure of CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (5th)?

UNIT I. Introduction to law, the Constitution & the courts: Students are introduced to political theory and the development of constitutional rule, are immersed into the Constitution, and finish the unit with an exciting mock trial.

UNIT II. Federalism: Separation of Power/ Checks and Balances: Students read summaries of actual court cases, then research and develop their own arguments in a famous case (as well as up-to-date evolving cases involving checks and balances!), argue their sides in front of the class (which sits as a "Supreme Court" and which must render written decisions). The cases are real—and so are the emotions as the students become involved in the intellectual vigor and competitiveness of oral advocacy.

UNIT III. Political Participation: Voting and the legislative process: Flexibility rules! Whether it's an election year or not, students get personally involved in the election process, and research and develop platforms from which they will run a Mock Assembly near the end of the course.

UNIT IV. Criminal Law and Procedure: Before the energizing subject of search and seizure, students look at the issue of crime, types of crimes, defenses to crimes—just as an attorney would. Students become captivated with the exclusionary rule and the Miranda rule. Capital punishment and "due process of law" become more than mere phrases.

UNIT V. Individual Rights and Liberties: The freedoms of speech, religion, press, and assembly are seen vividly in the real cases that help define our legal system. Students will debate the extent to which freedom of expression should be allowed in schools. Students will debate the extent to which they should be free to express their religious beliefs during commencement speeches. Students examine how affirmative action is evaluated and debate its efficacy in modern life. The legal tests for discrimination are evaluated just as the U.S. Supreme Court would do it.

UNIT VI. The Mock Assembly: Students can produce their own legislation, have it run through student- committees, ultimately to be tested—if it passes muster—on the floor of a culminating Mock Assembly. By now students debate the constitutionality of proposals, cite references and make oral arguments that would make many legislators proud. Whether this is the "final exam" of the course—or simply the final activity before a challenging paper-and-pencil test—students complete this course knowing they are among the most educated people in this country when it comes to CONSTITUTIONAL LAW!


Unique aspects of the DIGITAL text CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (5.04)

*    TWO VOLUMES, in GoogleDoc format, with over 490 pages, including appendices (including some state-required documents such as selections from The Federalist Papers—even the “Anti-Federalists”—and addresses from Washington and Lincoln

*   The 5th edition, version 5.04, will be up to date through the June, 2017 U.S. Supreme Court events. The GoogleDoc format will allow us to keep the book updated each year. 

*    Only $5.00, plus tax. No shipping costs, as the teacher provides the student email and we send it directly to that email address!

*    Useful also as a supplementary text (for the case descriptions alone!) or as the main text for your Civics or Law-related course

*    Includes instructions and exercises on rules of evidence and how to run a mock trial

*    Contains a multitude of factual case summaries that challenge students to apply what they have learned, not just memorize it

*    Special feature, updated “HOT TOPICS IN THE LAW,” keeps the information contemporary

*    Web site and email updates available

*    Author Rich Kitchens is available to give in-service training

Back by POPULAR DEMAND... the paperback student text of CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (5.04)

Some of you just weren't ready for an all-digital format, so we have brought back our popular paperback text, updated as of July, 2017, so that it is the same as the digital text we offer. Whatever works for kids and teachers works for us! 
WHY should you teach your Civics course as a course in CONSTITUTIONAL LAW?
  • It sure sounds better than "Civics," "Government," or "American Institutions"
  • It is based on "First Principles"
  • It is a relevant, exciting and topical way to bring history and politics alive!
  • It changes enough to keep you on your toes

WHY should your course use CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (5.04)?

  • It is readable but DOES NOT TALK DOWN to the students
  • It CHALLENGES students to THINK ON THEIR OWN…There are no "easy answers" in Con Law
  • Project-based learning is implicit in the structure of the textbook--inquiry is essential
  • It is as FLEXIBLE as you want it to be

The new and latest edition of Constitutional Law will be ready for the 2017-2018 school year. This will be edition 5.04 and is updated since last year’s version. It will be sent to the printer soon and will be available to be shipped to schools August 1, 2017. It is available in two formats—as a two-volume GoogleDoc as well as in the traditional one-volume paperback.

New this year in the 5.04 edition and in BOTH formats: Ten new cases from the last term and the current term and new “Hot Topics” : 

Unit 1:
The Teacher’s Guide will include Hernandez v. Mesa (the patrol agent who shot a kid over the border case)

Unit 2:
Peruta v. California (is there a 2nd Amendment right to carry handgun outside the home), denied cert, but is included in the Teacher’s Guide materials.
Sessions v. Binderup (gun ownership rights)
Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project; Hawaii v. Trump (the immigration and travel ban appeals just accepted by the Supreme Court)
A pending 9th Circuit case, Juliana v. U.S., regarding a possible constitutional right to protection against climate change

Unit 3
Husted v. A. Phillip Randolph Instit. (the voter inactivity case) 

Unit 4:
To the Teacher’s Guide we added Class v. U.S. (right to appeal after a guilty plea)
D.C. v. Wesby  (the late-night partiers arrest case)
Carpenter v. U.S. (cell phone records and the 4th amendment)

Unit 5:
In the Teacher’s Guide, we added Matal v. Tam (formerly Lee v. Tam) the controversial trademark case
Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (the baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple)

Unit 6

To the Teacher’s Guide we added the consolidated cases of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Ernst & Young v. Morris, and NLRB v. Murphy Oil (employment arbitration cases.
Janus v. AFSCME replacing the Friedrichs case) (public employee dues paying requirement) 

As before,

  • Format: the new digital GoogleDoc saves paper and makes it much easier to provide new, updated editions annually.
  • Pricing: still a ridiculously low $5 per student and FREE for teachers.
  • The Teacher’s Guide has been updated and expanded, with new links and articles to reflect 2017-2018, retaining the best of the older articles. The EIGHT volumes comprise more than 1000 pages of material! Dozens of sample essays are offered. Each case that is summarized in the student text now has a “case brief” to help in debriefing it in the Teacher’s Guide. For those of you purchasing the CD, the Teacher’s Guide will be available in both MS Word and PDF formats, in both three-volume and eight-volume collections for your easy access.
  • The popular “Top 50  (or 150) readings for students” has been updated again.

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