Presentation on theme: "Fair: marked by impartiality and honesty; free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism; conforming with the established rules; consonant with merit."— Presentation transcript:
Fair: marked by impartiality and honesty; free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism; conforming with the established rules; consonant with merit or importance (From Merriam-Webster)
Who is in charge of making sure things are fair …. At school On the sports field At home In society
Hypothetical One The Statesville University (SU) is a publically funded university with a large, diverse student body. SU has an all-comers policy for student groups; this policy requires official student groups to accept all student members, regardless of their status or beliefs. Official student groups received special resources like funding, on-campus office space, and free printing services. One student organization, the Student Atheist Society (SAS), is a group of students who meet once a week to discuss their views as atheists (i.e. individuals who do not believe in God). Each week the group analyses atheist readings and discusses the difficulties they face in being atheists. The SU SAS chapter recently applied to become a formal chapter of the national SAS organization. In order to become a formal chapter, all members must sign a Commitment of Non-Belief statement, part of which requires members to pledge that they Do Not Believe in Any Religion/Are Not Members of Any Churches or Other Religious Institution. Sarah is a member of SAS and recently asked her two roommates to attend meetings with her. One of Sarahs roommates, Joanne, is Catholic and the other, Karen, is Jewish. Joanne and Karen were shocked to be presented with the Commitment of Non-Belief and when they refused to sign it, they were asked to leave the SAS meeting. Joanne and Karen complained to SU officials, who subsequently canceled SASs status as an official student group, alleging the group had violated the all-comers policy. The SAS filed a lawsuit, claiming that the all-comers policy violated their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association, and religion.
Hypothetical One Discussion Questions 1.Why do you think Statesville University would pass such a policy like the all-comers policy? Do you think such policies are important to ensuring an open and equal college campus? 2.Why would the members of SAS take issue with the all-comers policy? If the SAS is forced to accept members who are unwilling to sign the Commitment of Non-Belief, how will this impact their meetings? 3.Put yourself in the shoes of a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. How would you rule on this challenge if it is before you? Does the all- comers policy violate the SAS members First Amendment rights? Take a vote in your group and see how your Court would rule. 4.What issues did your group consider in reaching its decision? 5.How do you think the public will react to such a ruling?
Hypothetical Two A number of male students at Statesville High School were applying for financial aid in preparation of enrolling and noticed that the requirement to indicate whether they had registered with the Selective Service only applied to males. After doing some research, the students learned that under the Military Selective Services Act, only male Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 were required to register for the Selective Services, meaning that only men were liable to be called up in a draft. This group of students challenged the Act under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. According to the students, the Act treats them differently than women and such a difference is in violation is unconstitutional.
Hypothetical Two Discussion Questions 1.Why do you think Congress drafted the Military Selective Services Act so that it only applies to men? 2.Why do you think this group of men took issue with the gender distinction in the Act? Do you think women would also want to challenge this Act? Are legal distinctions based on gender always ever legitimate? 3.Put yourself in the shoes of a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. How would you rule on this challenge if it is before you? Is the Military Selective Services Act unconstitutional in that it only applies to men? Take a vote in your group and see how your Court would rule. 4.What issues did your group consider in reaching its decision? 5.How do you think the public will react to such a ruling?
Hypothetical Three Rachel French is a Caucasian student applying to Statesville UniversityArborville Campus (SU-A); Rachel is an in-state student, from a large urban high school, who graduated with a 3.7 GPA. The Statesville University system has an admissions policy for Tier A students, whereby in-state students who are in the top 10% of their graduating class are granted automatic admission to the schools within the system. This system is completely race neutral; however, due to the segregation within communities across Statesville, this system results in a racially diverse student body. Rachels school was particularly competitive, and she graduated in the top 15% of her class. This meant that Rachels application was reviewed as part of the Tier B admission process. Tier B applicants were assigned a series of numerical values based on a number of factors, including academics, extra-curricular activities, family background, and race. Rachel was subsequently denied admission. Upon looking at the admission statistics later, Rachel realized that, had she been a minority applicant with a similar GPA, she would have been admitted. Rachel knows that under a recent Supreme Court case, University of Arborville v. Franz, applying numerical values to race in an admissions policy in such a way that controls admissions, was ruled unconstitutional.
Hypothetical Three Discussion Questions 1.Why do you think Statesville University drafted its admissions procedure in the way it did? 2.Do you think students other than Rachel may have problems with the admissions policy? Why? 3.Put yourself in the shoes of a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. How would you rule on this challenge if it is before you? Is the Statesville Universitys admission policy unconstitutional? Take a vote in your group and see how your Court would rule. 4.What issues did your group consider in reaching its decision? 5.How do you think the public will react to such a ruling?