Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, resolving giant political and constitutional issues, have churned up a wave of Americans (who disagreed with those decisions) and who now maintain that the Supreme Court went beyond their authority and/or were simply behaving unconstitutionally.
This is one of those national moments that beg for a simple explanation of everything in the Constitution, something that lays out easily the ideas and processes in the Constitution.
“Constitution Translated for Kids” by Cathy Travis, the award winning children’s book (in publication since 2006 and used in hundreds of school districts across the United States) offers a unique feature: a side-by-side rendition of every word in the Constitution alongside a simple, non-ideological, 5th grade translation of the legalistic language in the U.S. founding document.
“Other books that try to explain the U.S. Constitution to kids, or even adults, pick and choose what to talk about – and usually it’s weighted one way or another,” said author Cathy Travis. “That leaves kids with only a little knowledge of the Constitution, and they feel used later. They are certainly less informed citizens.”
“These days, we’re all feeling a little used, particularly about the sources of our information,” said Travis, a 25-year veteran writer in the U.S. Congress. “That’s why I wanted to use the Constitution itself as the source for this book. On one side of the page is what the Constitution says, and on the other side is my 5th grade version of what it says. Readers benefit by looking at both and seeing for themselves what it says.”
“Think of the country as a ball game and the Supreme Court as the referees,” Travis said. “If teams disagreed with the referees and did things their own way, the game would be havoc. The notion of not recognizing the rule of law is breaking out amidst confused voters on the eve of another national election.”
“Constitution Translated for Kids” is the winner of the 2011 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award for Education (Government and Politics), the “Mom’s Choice Award” (Juvenile non-fiction, 2010) and a “Best Books Award” (2009) – and offers a free teacher’s guide.
Controversial decisions from the Supreme Court in 2015 included:
* The court ruled that voters had the power to strip elected lawmakers of their authority to draw district lines. (Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission)
* The court decided that Texas could reject specialty license plates bearing the Confederate battle flag. (Texas v. Sons of Confederate Veterans)
* The court (again) established a separation of powers in foreign policy. (Zivotofsky v. Kerry)
* In two Alabama cases, the court found that the State Legislature had relied too heavily on race in its 2012 state redistricting, by maintaining high concentrations of black voters in some districts.
* The court struck down the last major case attempting to kill Obamacare. (King v. Burwell)
* The court decided that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. (Obergefell v. Hodges)
Release ID: 91703