Research Links and Critical Thinking Questions for May 2020 Topics
Surveillance Law (H.R.6172)
Equal Rights Amendment
- Read the text of “H.R.6172 – USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020” (link above). Are the reforms in this bill strong enough? Why or why not?
- One of the reforms in H.R.6172 is the guarantee that House Intelligence Committee members will have access to all FISA applications. Should Congress require additional transparency mechanisms? Why or why not?
- Currently, federal government agencies can issue national security letters on Americans without a warrant and without informing them. Which constitutional amendment(s) do these practices conflict with?
- The argument can be made that compromising our civil liberties in any way means the terrorists have won. Agree or disagree? Explain your reasoning.
- Review the surveillance laws currently in place (link above) that allow the federal government to spy on Americans. Does the government have too much power? Not enough?
Issue 2: Equal Rights Amendment
- Visit https://statusofwomendata.org/, click on the “find your state” arrow and select your state to see how it’s graded for women’s rights. How does your state compare?
- Visit the “Why We Need the Equal Rights Amendment” link above. Do you agree with the ar-guments for the ERA? Why or why not?
- Do you think there are other groups whose rights should be guaranteed by the U.S. government? If so, what are they?
- Are you surprised that the Constitution does not already guarantee rights to women? Why or why not?
- Read the “pro” and “con” quotes for the ERA on p. 3 of the newsletter. Decide whose opinion you agree with most and why?