Chapter 5: The Bill of Rights


1.  You have a summer job answering phones at a public interest organization that gives free legal representation on matters involving Bill of Rights violations.  Before starting work, you received some training in how to recognize when a constitutional issue is at stake.

During your first day you get these calls:

a.  A man calls to complain about his neighbors' loud parties.

b.  A member of an anti-war group calls to say they have been denied a permit to hold a march.

c.  A student calls to complain that he was ordered out of his homeroom when he refused to stand for the flag salute.  

d.  A woman calls to ask what she can do about the landlord's latest rent increase.

e.  A student at a private school asks what she can do about the school's dress code.

f.   A group of teens from the same neighborhood in the city call to ask if they can be stopped and searched by police for hanging out together and minding their own business.  

g.  A woman calls to say she was robbed on the street and the police aren't doing anything about it.

Are constitutional issues involved in any of these calls?  Explain.  Which ones do you think your organization would get involved in?

Copyright 2006, ACLU of Massachusetts