Oh, the Places We'll Vote...

Blogging by America's next generation of active citizens.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Review Law of the Day

Thursdays are for laws, and today we are going to address the ADA - the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The ADA was passed in 1991, and to quote our fabulous AP Gov't review guide, it is an "act that required employers, schools, and public buildings to reasonably accommodate the physical needs of handicapped individuals by providing such things as ramps and elevators with appropriate facilities."

The ADA has been critical for providing access to facilities for those with disabilities. Floors and areas of buildings that were once unreachable now must be accessible, and the 1990s saw a slew of ramps being constructed and elevators and various lifts being installed. In fact, it is hard to find anywhere at SHS or other public buildings that is inaccessible.

The ADA has raised many questions though. How do you define a disability? What does "accessible" mean? What if you have to travel around to the back of a large building to enter it, and then journey up a long ramp - is that still accessible? What about private buildings, like many colleges? (Many of those have gone ahead and increased their accessibility, as they still receive public funds through the federal student loan programs.) What about a golfer like Casey Martin, who has a disability and wanted to use a golf cart to complete the course, when everyone else is walking it? Does the ADA apply here?

Keep in mind as well that the ADA is an unfunded mandate. States must comply with the ADA, but they must do so at their own expense.


**Join us for review sessions on Wednesday April 9th at 7 AM and 2:45 PM in 7058 - we'll be discussing political parties, elections, and campaigns.**

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Review Constitutional Aspect of the Day

Wednesdays are for the Constitution, so today we're talking about the Great Compromise, also known as the Connecticut Compromise.

The Great Compromise sets up our legislative branch as a bicameral legislature. That means there are two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Compromise determined that representation in the House would be based on population, and the Senate would be based on equality.

The House is currently capped at 435 members, which means there are 435 congressional districts nationwide. There is a census every 10 years, which determines where people are living in the U.S. and how population is shifting. Each congressional district consists of roughly 700,000 people. Illinois has been losing congressional districts as more people move to warmer states; we currently have 19 congressional districts.

The Senate is capped at 100 members, with each state being represented by two people. While a rep in the House just represents his/her district, a senator represents the entire state.


**If you couldn't make it to a review session today, please stop by the Social Studies office in 7080 to pick up a review packet. Also, visit www.cbs2chicago.com/school for more review materials!**

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Review Court Case of the Day

Today's court case is Brown v. the Board of Education.
Brown desegregated public schools, meaning that you could no longer have separate educational facilities for people of different races.

This court case is very important in terms of civil rights, as it overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, which had dictated that separate but equal public facilities were acceptable. Brown specifically dealt with public schools, but in desegregating these, all public facilities were desegregated. This includes theaters, drinking fountains, trains, etc - all of which had been segregated in certain parts of the country, including the south.

Any suggestions for other court cases that you want discussed? Let me know!

*Reminder that AP Review sessions will be held TOMORROW in 7058, both at 7 AM and 2:45 PM. Get your review packet then!