A Taste of Justice: 1st Amend. (28) Current 1st Amend. Conflicts-Students’ Position Statements 2021

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While the First amendment is short, there are many Court cases interpreting the amendment and many current debates. After taking an extended take home exam on all of the course material, my remote law students: selected a current First Amendment conflict they had a strong position about; researched the topic; and, wrote their own Student Position Statements where they applied the First Amendment to current conflicts we are now addressing as a nation in 2021. They are also making five minute presentations about their positions and responding to questions from classmates who may disagree with their positions. We cover from 5 to 7 position statements per day. For each class, I summarize the presentations in a video presentation (but I do not identify the students to protect their privacy). In our sixth day of presentations, the students' position presentations were about: whether government can force public schools to force students to stand for the national anthem; whether government can require that the national anthem be played at professional games; whether government can prefer some art murals over other art murals; whether officers should be allowed to infringe on speech at peaceful protests because they disagree with the message; whether the Equality Act destroys religious rights; whether government asserting religion in the public sphere is in violation of the constitution; and, whether state mandated license plates should include religious expressions. Applying case law to argue their own positions AND considering the positions in opposition to their own is a further path to learning for my students. Remember, learning is a path to enlightenment and enlightenment to freedom, and freedom to justice or, at least, a taste of justice.

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