Segments in this Video

School Prayer, Gun Control, and Assembly: Overview (03:18)


This episode will cover the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Topics will also include school prayer, gun control and the right to assemble.

Should Prayer be Allowed in Public Schools? (11:30)

Moderator Arthur Miller describes a scenario in which several black teens were murdered in Marathon, inflaming tensions. A local pastor wants to hold a remembrance prayer at one of the city’s schools. Panelists debate whether such an event should be banned as a violation of the First Amendment.

Grounds for a Lawsuit (09:51)

Lawyer Jeanne Baker describes the process of filing a lawsuit on behalf of a parent who objects to the ceremony being held at school. Judge Robert Merhige and retired Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart debate whether the ceremony counts as establishment of religion.

Can Congress Step In? (07:34)

A local congressman sponsors legislation banning courts from ruling on matters involving voluntary prayer in school. Rep. Charles Rangel, Sen. Orrin Hatch and other panelists debate whether Congress can limit judicial review. When does emphasis of the Establishment Clause interfere with the right of citizens to practice religious beliefs?

Right to Possess and Bear Arms (10:31)

Racial tensions escalated, resulting in a spike in gun sales, and the mayor proposes a new gun control ordinance. Panelists debate the city council’s ability to ban the sale and possession of firearms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Judicial Review Explained (02:00)

Panelists consider the Supreme Court’s power to decide on what counts as school prayer, the right to keep and bear arms, and other issues addressed by the Bill of Rights. Justice Stewart explains the roots of the court’s power to act as referee.

Free Assembly and Unpopular Views (06:15)

A left-wing extremist group and the Ku Klux Klan announce plans to hold demonstrations on the same day at the same location in Marathon. Most of the community does not support either group marching. Discussion turns to the constitutional right to freely assemble and express unpopular views.

Judicial Review Debate Continues (02:47)

The framers of the Constitution expressed many of the most important provisions in general language, allowing them to be adapted to an unknowable future.

Credits: School Prayer, Gun Control and the Right to Assemble (02:03)

Credits: School Prayer, Gun Control and the Right to Assemble

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School Prayer, Gun Control, and the Right To Assemble

Part of the Series : Constitution: That Delicate Balance
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



A series of events embroils a small town in First and Second Amendment controversies. Featured are Griffin Bell, former secretary of education Shirley Hufstedler, and civil liberties counsel Jeanne Baker.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL160418

Copyright date: ©1984

Closed Captioned

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