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Role Playing in Teaching Constitutional Law
Unformatted Document Text:  Problems for First Amendment Course 1. Should the Constitution be amended to require term limits (18 years) for federal judges? Free Exercise 2. Central State has a law that requires that children with any religious identification be placed for adoption or in foster care with parents of the same religious background wherever possible.Joe and Sally, two Quaker professors, wish to adopt a twelve year old boy and his four year old sister who had Jewish parents. The Bureau of Children’s Services reluctantly says no. 3. Indigent parents of Sally Smith (eight years old) refuse medical treatment on religious grounds. Treatment has a reasonable chance of reducing epileptic seizures. State sues to force treatment so child can attend school and in order to reduce future state provided medical care. 4. Jan Singh is a devout 15 year old Sikh. As such, he wears his unshorn hair in a turban, a steel bracelet on his wrist and carries a small ceremonial dagger (the kirban). Central Public High School, after a history of school disruptions, has adopted a policy barring all head coverings, jewelry and weapons or potential weapons. Singh says policy violates freedom of religion. 5. Central City High School has a Celebrate Your Heritage Day. In the past the celebration (posters, skits) has focused on ethnicity and race. Students representing various religious perspectives have petitioned to participate in the celebration. School says religious celebration would violate separation of church and state. 6. Central Public High School after a long search has finally found a well qualified teacher to teach its advanced science courses. The only problem is that Sister Mary Elizabeth has worn a religious habit for 12 years and will only accept the position if she can continue to wear it. You are a school board, aware you could be sued if you agree or disagree with the recommendation to hire. 7. Several pharmacists have refused to fill prescriptions for the “morning after” RU480 pill that prevents pregnancy after intercourse because it violates their religious conscience. Central State is threatening to remove their licenses. Establishment Clause 8. The State of Ohio has a voucher program. ACLU has discovered that four middle class families, at the request of their pastor, donated the entire sum of the voucher to their church. ACLU seeks to enjoin such gifts as a violation of the establishment clause. 9. The Mission Society is a Christian fundamentalist group with a very successful drug treatment program. It believes that the key to keeping addicts clean is to encourage them to lead disciplined 6

Authors: La Noue, George.
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Problems for First Amendment Course
1. Should the Constitution be amended to require term limits (18 years) for federal judges?
Free Exercise
2. Central State has a law that requires that children with any religious identification be placed
for adoption or in foster care with parents of the same religious background wherever possible.
Joe and Sally, two Quaker professors, wish to adopt a twelve year old boy and his four year old
sister who had Jewish parents. The Bureau of Children’s Services reluctantly says no.
3. Indigent parents of Sally Smith (eight years old) refuse medical treatment on religious
grounds. Treatment has a reasonable chance of reducing epileptic seizures. State sues to force
treatment so child can attend school and in order to reduce future state provided medical care.
4. Jan Singh is a devout 15 year old Sikh. As such, he wears his unshorn hair in a turban, a steel
bracelet on his wrist and carries a small ceremonial dagger (the kirban). Central Public High
School, after a history of school disruptions, has adopted a policy barring all head coverings,
jewelry and weapons or potential weapons. Singh says policy violates freedom of religion.
5. Central City High School has a Celebrate Your Heritage Day. In the past the celebration
(posters, skits) has focused on ethnicity and race. Students representing various religious
perspectives have petitioned to participate in the celebration. School says religious celebration
would violate separation of church and state.
6. Central Public High School after a long search has finally found a well qualified teacher to
teach its advanced science courses. The only problem is that Sister Mary Elizabeth has worn a
religious habit for 12 years and will only accept the position if she can continue to wear it. You
are a school board, aware you could be sued if you agree or disagree with the recommendation to
hire.
7. Several pharmacists have refused to fill prescriptions for the “morning after” RU480 pill that
prevents pregnancy after intercourse because it violates their religious conscience. Central State
is threatening to remove their licenses.
Establishment Clause
8. The State of Ohio has a voucher program. ACLU has discovered that four middle class
families, at the request of their pastor, donated the entire sum of the voucher to their church.
ACLU seeks to enjoin such gifts as a violation of the establishment clause.
9. The Mission Society is a Christian fundamentalist group with a very successful drug treatment
program. It believes that the key to keeping addicts clean is to encourage them to lead disciplined
6


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