Category Archives: News

The Supreme Court Questions Warrantless Cell Phone Searches

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in two cases debating whether the police need warrants to search the cellphones of people under arrest. The main issue is whether modern cellphones, with their vast data capacity, require a different approach under the Fourth Amendment and its ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. To learn more about search warrants and the Fourth Amendment, watch our award-winning film on the landmark search and seizure case, Mapp v. Ohio.

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Our Film “The Right to Remain Silent” Awarded a Bronze Medal

Our film “The Right to Remain Silent” on the landmark Supreme Court criminal rights case Miranda v. Arizona won a Bronze Medal from the 2014 New York Festival’s International Film and TV Awards. You can watch our film here. To learn more about the New York Festivals, please visit their website.

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April 8th is Equal Pay Day and Lilly Ledbetter Continues Her Fight to Close the Wage Gap

Lilly Ledbetter was once again at the White House, this time to watch President Obama sign two Executive Orders to help close the pay gap between men and women. President Obama’s orders will make it harder for federal contractors to retaliate against employees who discuss their pay information. To learn more about Lilly Ledbetter and the ongoing fight to close the wage gap, watch our film, A Call to Act: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

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Bryan Stevenson Talks About Confronting Injustice

Speaking at the Alabama Power Company’s “Making History Now” Black History Month luncheon, Equal Justice Initiative founder and The Constitution Project contributor Bryan Stevenson argued that justice cannot be advanced without some discomfort. Stevenson urged his audience to have the courage to  get close enough to feeling what they’re trying to correct.  That discomfort, Stevenson explained, generates power, and from that power comes the ability to create change. To hear more compelling ideas from Stevenson, watch his 20-minute TED lecture, “We need to talk about injustice.” The lecture, viewed over 1.4 million times, generated a record-setting standing ovation for the TED lecture series. You can also watch him in a number of our films, including One Man Changes the Constitution about the fight to expand the right to counsel, and Jury Selection: Edmonson v. Leesville

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New Supreme Court Decision Expands Warrantless Searches of Homes

On Tuesday, February 25th the Supreme Court announced a 6-3 decision that allows police officers to conduct warrantless searches  of private residences outside the context of an emergency. The Court ruled that police may enter and search a home without a warrant over the previous objections of one resident, as long as another occupant consents. To learn more about the 4th Amendment and constitutional protections against search and seizure, watch our award-winning film Search and Seizure: Mapp v. Ohio.

NJ Governor Christie Scandal Shines Light on Pleading the Fifth

Earlier this week a former aide to Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, cited her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when she announced she would not hand over documents in response to a subpoena issued by a legislative panel investigating allegations of politically-motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. Learn more about the Fifth Amendment, the right against self-incrimination and the landmark Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona that ensured the protection of that right for all people accused of a crime by watching our film, The Right to Remain Silent: Miranda v. Arizona.

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Lilly Ledbetter and the State of Our Union

This week marks the fifth year anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. But as President Obama discussed during the State of the Union Address, there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure equal pay for equal work is a reality. Watch our ABA Silver Gavel Award winning film, A Call to Act and learn about Mrs. Ledbetter’s amazing fight that took her to the Supreme Court, Congress and finally the White House.

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Commemorate Fred Korematsu Day, Learn About this Civil Rights Hero

January 30th is Fred Korematsu Day. Mr. Korematsu was a national civil rights hero. He was one of only a handful of Asian Americans who challenged the government’s efforts to incarcerate Japanese Americans from the West Coast in internment camps during World War II. At the age of 23, Mr. Korematsu was arrested and eventually convicted for defying the government’s order to leave California. Undeterred, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, in a decision that remains a stain on the Court’s legacy, the Court ruled against him. As Associate Justice Stephen Breyer declares in our film,  Korematsu and Civil Libertiesit is “universally acknowledge that that was an error.” Watch our film and learn more about Mr. Korematsu and his fight for justice.

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The Constitution Project Wins Two CINE Golden Eagle Awards

The Right to Remain Silent and Search and Seizure have both been awarded with CINE Golden Eagle Awards. The team is proud to have been recognized by this well-known film award and is beyond pleased to know that two of our films have received this prestigious award. For more information about the jury process and the Golden Eagle Awards please visit CINE.

Right of Gays to Serve on Juries Affirmed

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that lawyers can’t discriminate against jurors based on their sexual orientation. The unanimous decision by the three-judge panel is the first to expand juror protections to include sexual orientation, and could open the door to similar challenges of discrimination against gays and lesbians. Legal analysts note that the Ninth Circuit’s decision is at odds with a decision by the federal court of appeals in St. Louis, which increases the likelihood that the Supreme Court will eventually rule on the issue.

The decision, involving jurors selected to serve on a federal antitrust case about an AIDS drug, expands the 1986 Supreme Court ruling in Batson v. Kentucky. Batson declared that jurors can’t be excluded from serving in federal court cases on the basis of race. The story of the Batson case and its expansion prohibiting jury discrimination based on race in civil trials are chronicled in our film, Jury Selection: Edmonson v. Leesville.