BRANCHES                           CITIZENSHIP


Malcolm Gladwell has written, "Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds."  Practice here and now.



Florida legislators advanced a bill on Tuesday that is expected to limit the number of former felons who can vote, in party by requiring former felons to pay back all court fees and fines before they can register…


In November, 65% of Floridians voted to approve an amendment to the state’s constitution, Amendment 4, that restored voting rights to certain former felons “after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation.”  Those who were convicted of “murder or sexual offenses” were not eligible for rights restoration.


The constitutional amendment, which took effect in January 2019, said voting rights would be restored to eligible Floridians – an estimated 1.5 million.  Many have registered to vote in the months since then.  Still, there was confusion about implementation…


On Tuesday, a Republican-controlled committee passed a measure that would require felons to pay back all court fees and fines…before they can register to vote.


Excerpted from Florida Republicans Move to Limit Felon Voting Rights Despite Constitutional Amendment, Jane C. Timm, NBC News, March 19, 2019


After reading the scenario, respond to A, B, and C below:


A. Describe a political impact, as described in the scenario, of Amendment 4 passed in Florida in January 2019.

B. In the context of the scenario, explain how the response in part A is affected by the concept of popular sovereignty.

C. In the context of the scenario, explain how our two major parties differ in defending suffrage rights.


Use the information graphic to answer the questions.


A. Identify the political party most likely to receive money from CEOs.

B. Describe a similarity or difference between CEO contributions, as illustrated in the information graphic, and draw a conclusion about that similarity or difference.

C. Explain how CEO contributions, as shown in the information graphic, has been impacted by the federal courts.



Margaret Gilleo placed a 24-by-36-inch sign calling for peace in the Persian Gulf on her front lawn.  The original sign disappeared and a subsequent sign was knocked down.  She reported these incidents to the police who advised her that such signs were prohibited in Ladue.  She sued the city and the District Court ordered a preliminary injunction.  Ladue repealed the law and replaced it with a new one which also banned window signs.  Gilleo then placed another anti-war sign in her second-story window and amended her complaint to challenge the new ordinance.


Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court:


…While signs are a form of expression protected by the Free Speech Clause, they pose distinctive problems that are subject to municipalities’ police powers.  Unlike oral speech, signs take up space and may obstruct views, distract motorists…and pose other problems that legitimately call for regulation…However, because regulation of a medium inevitably affects communication itself, it is not surprising that we have had occasion to review the constitutionality of municipal ordinances prohibiting the display of certain outdoor signs…


Ladue has almost completely foreclosed a venerable means of communication that is both unique and important.  It has totally foreclosed that medium to political, religious, or personal messages…


Our decision that Ladue’s ban on almost all residential signs violates the First Amendment by no means leaves the City powerless to address the ills that may be associated with residential signs…


Excerpted from Oyez – from the case City of Ladue v. Gilleo (1994)


Based on the information above, respond to the following questions.


A. Identify a common constitutional principle used to make a ruling in both Marbury v. Madison (1803) and City of Ladue v. Gilleo (1994).

B. Explain how the facts of Marbury v. Madison (1803) and the facts of City of Ladue v. Gilleo (1994) led to a similar holding in both cases.

C. Explain how the ruling in City of Ladue v. Gilleo (1994) was affected by selective incorporation.





The Founding Fathers enabled three branches with specific enumerated powers.  Assess the powers of each branches and present an argument for which branch the Founders feared would be the most dangerous.


In your essay, you must:

  • Articulate a defensible claim or thesis that responds to the prompt and establishes a line of reasoning.

  • Support your claim with at least TWO pieces of accurate and relevant information.  At least ONE piece of evidence must be from one of the following foundational documents – U.S. Constitution, Federalist 70, Federalist 78

  • Use a second piece of evidence from another foundational document from the list or from your study of the electoral process

  • Use reasoning to explain why your evidence supports your claim/thesis

  • Respond to an opposing or alternative perspective using refutation, concession, or rebuttal

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