1. Why do you think societies create laws, and what do they hope their laws will accomplish?
2. Identify and speculate about situations in which these goals may conflict with each other.
3. Identify societal problems that laws cannot solve.
4. How might laws in a society that values order and safety compare to laws in a society that values individual freedom and creativity?
5. This question is based on the actual 1884 case of Regina v. Dudley and Stephens. An English court found both men guilty of murder and sentenced them to death. The court said, ” We are often forced to set up standards we cannot reach ourselves, and to lay down rules which we could not ourselves satisfy . But a man has no right to declare temptation as an excuse nor allow compassion for the criminal to change or weaken the legal definition of the crime”.
(a.) Would there be any advantages to such an arrangement ?
(b.) What kinds of problems would develop?
4. Suppose there was no system of checks and balances among the three branches of government. What kinds of problems would citizens face?
5. Should constitutions be easier to amend than they are now?
Determine the Constitutionality of Laws – Use the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to decide if the following laws would be constitutional or unconstitutional and name the amendment in question.
One cannot vote without a college degree.
Newspapers are prohibited from publishing negative statements about a town’s mayor.
Handguns are denied to those who are mentally ill
Someone is arrested and convicted without the benefit of legal counsel or a trial.
Someone who is arrested for a crime refuses to take the witness stand at his or her trial.