Equal Justice Under Law
A constitutional issue and public policy program for Illinois High School Students
Equal Justice Under Law is designed to enhance students' understanding of a recently decided U.S. Supreme Court case and related public policy questions. In their classes, students examine case facts, review the constitutional issue, consider the arguments they find persuasive, and analyze a related law or public policy using Constitutional Democracy Project developed curriculum materials. Constitutional Democracy Project conducts a conference in Chicago where students come together to deliberate the constitutional issue and discuss policy applications with peers from a variety of school settings. Topics have included school drug testing, the juvenile death penalty, and physician-assisted suicide. The program occurs in the fall semester.
Equal Justice Under Law Student Conference
Students attend the Equal Justice Under Law Student Conference in Chicago. At the student-led conference, they deliberate the constitutional issue and discuss the related policy questions with peers, legal experts, and policymakers. Following the conference, students offer their perspectives in op-ed pieces, letters to legislators, and/or position papers.
If your school is interested in participating in Equal Justice Under Law contact Dee Runaas.
Student Training and Teacher Workshop
Selected students from participating teachers' classes receive training for their role as discussion facilitators and coordinators in preparation for the student-led conference in Chicago. A legal resource person shares additional insights on the law, case, and/or policy with both students and their teachers. Teachers receive additional classroom-ready materials developed by the Constitutional Democracy Project.
Class Preparation at Participating Schools
Leading up to the culminating conference, students prepare by examining the constitutional issue, review those arguments they find persuasive, and analyze the related law or public policy question using Constitutional Democracy Project developed curriculum materials. The one-day workshop helps prepare students for the culminating conference.