Documents in American History
Library of Congress site contains:
* Declaration of Independence
* U.S. Constitution
* The Bill of Rights
* The Federalist Papers
* Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional
* Guide to American Historical Documents Online
* Charters of Freedom from the U.S. National Archives and Records
Civil Liberties Union
The American system of government is founded on two
counterbalancing principles: that the majority of the people governs,
through democratically elected representatives; and that the power even
of a democratic majority must be limited, to ensure individual rights.
Majority power is limited by the Constitution's Bill of Rights, which
consists of the original ten amendments ratified in 1791, plus the three
post-Civil War amendments (the 13th, 14th and 15th) and the 19th
Amendment (women's suffrage), adopted in 1920.
The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and
* Your First Amendment rights - freedom of
speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom
* Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment
regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
* Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government
whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
* Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government
intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
The ACLU has maintained the position that civil
liberties must be respected, even in times of national emergency.
Constitution Society for Law and Policy
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
(ACS) is one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations.
Founded in 2001, ACS is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law
students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned
individuals. Our mission is to ensure that fundamental principles of
human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and
access to justice enjoy their rightful, central place in American law.
Click here to learn more about our goals.
ACS is a non-partisan, non-profit educational organization. We do not,
as an organization, lobby, litigate or take positions on specific
issues, cases, legislation or nominations. We do encourage our members
to express their views and make their voices heard.
From the University of California at Santa Barbara
The Public Papers of the Presidents
The American Presidency Project is the only online resource that has
consolidated, coded, and organized into a single searchable database:
•The Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Washington - Taft
•The Public Papers of the Presidents:
Hoover to Bush (1929-1993)
•The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents:
Clinton - G.W. Bush (1993-2008)
A resource site primarily for teachers, contains some
very good videos of interviews with Supreme Court justices explaining
their views of the Constitution.
A Conversation on the Constitution: Judicial
Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy, and Sandra
Day O’Connor discuss the significance of the judiciary in the
federal government and the ways in which independence is protected
by the Constitution.
A Conversation with Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. on the
Origin, Nature, and Importance of the Supreme Court
The establishment of a federal judiciary was a top priority for this
nation’s founding fathers. A conversation about the high court—from
its history and evolution to the methods Justices use in selecting
and hearing cases, to the role of an independent judiciary and other
issues crucial to a healthy democracy today.
A Conversation on the Constitution with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
on the Fourteenth Amendment
Incorporating three integral constitutional tenets -- due process,
equal protection, and privileges and immunities -- the Fourteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution was originally intended
to secure rights for former slaves, but over the years it has been
expanded to protect all persons. A discussion of the importance of
the 14th Amendment and how it came to embody and protect the
principle of "We the People."
The Constitution Project: Expert Commentary
The Constitution Project assembled a panel of constitutional
scholars and legals experts to discuss issues raised by the Justices
in our videos. Here, presented, are a number of excerpts from
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Chief Justice John G. Roberts, each
followed by an analysis and commentary from the panel. You can also
choose to view just the commentary.
Online searchable library for source materials of the
United States Constitution. Includes documents such as Madison's Notes
of the Constitutional Convention, notes from several State ratification
debates, Bill of Rights legislative history, Washington's papers etc.
Society for Law and Public Policy Studies
* The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy
Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the
current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that
the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of
governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is
emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law
is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an
awareness of these principles and to further their application through
* This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a
premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law.
It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these
norms among lawyers, judges, law students and professors. In working to
achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and
libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal
Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a
research and educational institute - a think tank - whose mission is to
formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the
principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom,
traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
We draw solutions to contemporary problems from the ideas, principles
and traditions that make America great.
We are not afraid to begin our sentences with the words "We believe,"
because we do believe: in individual liberty, free enterprise, limited
government, a strong national defense, and traditional American values.
Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the
human rights of people around the world.
We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold
political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime,
and to bring offenders to justice.
We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers
We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive
practices and respect international human rights law.
We enlist the public and the international community to support the
cause of human rights for all.
Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization,
supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations
worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.
of Legal Counsel
Site for the Office of Legal Counsel - a division of
the Office of the Attorney General of the United States.
This is the office that provides legal memorandum to the Executive
Copies of all declassified opinions from 1992 to the present
Rights of the
People - U.S. State Department Publication
A great blog run by Prof. Jack Balkin of Yale Law
School. Participation from some of the top constitutional scholars.
A great site for both information on the court and
commentary and analysis on decisions.
Tribune Freedom Museum
blog discussing many of the same issues I have raised. For a
better understanding of some of the abuses we have pointed out, see the
timeline collection on the site