Cox v. New Hampshire

Staging a debate is a great way to class members to think deeply about issues, especially those related to rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. The Supreme Court case, Cox V. New Hampshire, focuses on the First Amendment's freedom of assembly clause. After reading the facts and case summary, debaters argue for or against the right of Jehovah's Witnesses to stage a parade without a license.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Invite members of the Speech and Debate club to coach participants
  • Use the resource as an activity for a Speech and Debate Club or in a classroom as part of a study of First Amendment Rights
  • Divide the class into groups and have each debate a different Supreme Court case relative to a different aspect of the First Amendment; in each event, class members not on the debate team should be unaware of the court ruling
Classroom Considerations

  • The link to information on how to structure a modified Oxford style debate does not work, but the information is readily available on the Internet

  • The three-page resource provides links to the facts and case summary for Cox v. New Hampshire and a list of talking points

  • Neither a detailed plan nor a rubric to assess the debate is included