In this Essay, Professor Richard Fallon explains and defends the constitutional status of stare decisis. In part, Professor Fallon responds to a recent article by Professor Michael Stokes Paulsen, who argues that Supreme Court adherence to precedent is a mere “policy,” not of constitutional stature, that Congress could abolish by statute. In particular, Paulsen argues that Congress could enact legislation denying precedental effect to Supreme Court decisions establishing abortion rights. In reply, Professor Fallon contends that Paulsen's argument depends on contradictory premises. If stare decisis lacked constitutional stature, then under Paulsen's methodological assumptions it also would be indefensible as a “policy,” because a mere policy could not legitimately displace results that the Constitution otherwise would require. In defending the constitutional status of stare decisis, Professor Fallon develops arguments based on the text, structure, and history of the Constitution. But he emphasizes that the “legitimacy” of stare decisis is supported, partly independently, by its entrenched status and by the contribution that it makes to the justice and workability of the constitutional regime. More generally, Professor Fallon argues that constitutional legitimacy rests upon the relatively contestable bases of widespread acceptance and reasonable justice, and not upon “consent” to be governed by the written Constitution.
September 17th is Constitution Day! On that date in 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention completed and signed the Constitution of the United States at Independence Hall. In late 2004, Senator Robert Byrd, one of the United States Senates leading Constitutional scholars, introduced legislation that President George W. Bush signed into law on December 8, 2004 requiring that all schools, colleges and Federal agencies receiving Federal funds offer annual educational programming involving the Constitution of the United States on or around Constitution Day, September 17th.
American Freedom Essay Contest
The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia is a great way to celebrate Constitution Day! Since 2007, The Constitutional has sponsored its annual American Freedom Essay Contest in September and October where students compete to win a free school field trip for their entire class to Historic Philadelphia.
Additionally, The Constitutional offers a variety of other resources to help educational institutions and Federal agencies fulfill the annual requirement for Constitution Day programming.
Make a Reservation For Your School's Field Trip.
Please see below for a detailed list of resources offered:
|The Constitutional's Constitution Day Resources||Free||Fee||Target Group||Age Group||Walking Distance||Time Allotment|
|The Constitutional Guided Tour||Teachers, Students, Government & Military, Community Leaders||All ages||1.25 miles||75 minutes|
|The Constitutional Virtual Field Trip||Teachers, Students||Elementary, Middle and High School||N/A||1-2 hours|
|The Constitutional Audio Tour||Teachers, Students, Government & Military, Community Leaders||All ages||1.25 miles||75 minutes|
|The Constitutional Self-Guided Tour||Teachers, Students, Government & Military, Community Leaders||All ages||3.25 miles||3-4 hours|
|Constitution Day Educational Resources, Materials & Merchandise||Teachers, Students, Government & Military, Community Leaders||All ages||N/A||Variable|
The Constitutional Walking Tour More Info
The Constitutional Walking Tour is a 75 minute, 1.25-mile journey that tells the dramatic story of the brave men and women who were responsible for creating America. Step back in time to see where The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were created. See more than 20 of the most historic sites and attractions, including many sites and topics related to the U.S. Constitution.
The Constitutional Walking Tour offers group rates and student discounts for groups of 25 or more. Field Trips for schools and groups can be arranged for almost anytime - weekday or weekend, day or evening. We can accommodate up to 500 walkers. We provide multiple in-house trained tour guides for an entertaining and informative storytelling tour, for children and chaperones alike. We can assist you in integrating our tour into your academic curriculum, including annual Constitution Day programming on or around September 17th.
For more information, click here.
Click here to make a reservation, or call our group sales department at 215-525-1776.
The Constitutional also offers Combination Field Trip Packages with the National Constitution Center with special group package rates (for a minimum of 20 people). For more information, click here to download the PDF, or call our group sales department at 215-525-1776.
As an add on for group tours, we also offer custom souvenir T-shirts for your group so your group members are easily identifiable, as well as souvenir merchandise such as mini Liberty Bells, Constitution Scrolls and pocket Constitutions.
The Constitutional Virtual Field Trip More Info
For those who cannot travel to Philadelphia to walk in Franklin's footsteps, The Constitutional provides free "virtual field trips" through our critically-acclaimed, interactive Web site so that you can "walk" in the Founding Fathers' footsteps and learn about the birth of our Nation, including the creation of the Constitution of the United States, by taking The Constitutional's tour online. These field trips include The Constitutional's educational materials such as: narrative on historic sites, photos, illustrations, and written factual accounts. The Constitutional's virtual field trips can be conducted in classrooms around the country to offer a rich storytelling fabric, including historical facts and stories on the Colonial and Revolutionary Eras.
Download the Virtual Field Trip in PowerPoint format, click here.
For more information, please contact our Education Department at info@TheConstitutional.com or 215-525-1776.
The Constitutional Audio Tour More Info
Grab your iPod and step back in time to see where the United States Constitution was created. The Constitutional Audio Tour includes more than 20 of the most popular historical sites in 75 minutes on a 1.25 mile walking adventure, including many sites related to the Constitution of the United States such as Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center. This is a fun way for children to experience history and learn!
The energetic storytellers, tour guides and historical character impersonators provide visitors with an educational and entertaining experience. Using modern day technology, visitors can step back in time to a day and age long before Facebook, smart phones, and the Internet and walk in the Founding Fathers' footsteps.
To hear a free preview, click here.
Pricing is available on a per student basis for qualified educational use only (not for commercial use). For more information on our educational licensing platform, please contact us at 215-525-1776.Self Guided Tours
The Constitutional Self-Guided Walking Tour More Info
The Constitutional Self-Guided Walking Tour takes you on a free self-guided walking journey through America's Most Historic Square Mile. The 3-mile outdoor journey features more than 30 historic sites in the Independence National Historical Park area, including many sites and topics related to the Constitution of the United States, such as Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center.
For more information, click here.
Constitution Day Educational Resources, Materials & Merchandise More Info
Our one-stop-shopping site has organized the most popular Constitution-related resources for you. In addition to all of The Constitutional Walking Tour's programming, we also offer educators a variety of resources that you can purchase to fulfill your educational needs for Constitution Day. We sell various types of historical documents including pocket Constitutions with key facts, pictures and indices, as well as faux parchment scrolls the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights and we even offer sets with quill pens.
Please click here for our recommended reading lists for students of all ages through our online book store powered by Amazon.com.
For more information, please contact our Education Department at info@TheConstitutional.com 215.525.1776.