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October 3, 2023

Campaign Financing Essay

Campaign Financing Essay. Pick One of the following topics and write a 2-3page (single spaces, 12-point font, Times New Roman) essay using what you learned throughout the semester to explain how you would address the issue. What is background of the issue? What can be done? How would you fund the effort? What population would this affect?

What Is Gerrymandering and What Does It Mean for Me as a Voter?

What’s It About? Political party officials have vested interests in gerrymandering the boundaries of voting districts to produce “safe seats,” where there is little chance of anyone who doesn’t belong to that party of winning that seat. The Issue? If gerrymandering is so unfair, why is it tolerated?


  1. What does it mean to be disenfranchised? Is voter suppression real?
  2. What do representatives owe to constituents in their districts who either did not vote for them or did not vote at all?
  3. Are state legislatures capable of taking action to limit or eliminate partisan gerrymandering?
  4. What do you imagine “perfect representation” in the U.S. House of Representatives would look like? Consider why voting district maps are redrawn every 10 years?

Campaign Financing Essay

What’s the Big Deal About Campaign Financing?

What’s It About? In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), the Supreme Court fundamentally altered the campaigning and electioneering landscape in the United States by easing restrictions on corporate donations to political campaigns. The Issue? How have campaign financing practices changed after the Citizens United decision? Campaign Financing Essay.


  1. PACs versus Super PACs. What distinguishes these two forms of political action committees?
  2. Should all political speech be transparent—that is, should we always know who the speakers are?
  3. Do you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United? State your reasons.
  4. Has your knowledge of the Citizens United case caused you to become more cynical or less cynical about the American political process?

Why Is the Government in So Much Debt and Should I Be Worried?

What’s It About? The national debt seems to have a life of its own independent of human control. The Issue? What are the implications of the national debt on public policy and how should we weigh the dangers that debt may pose?


  1. Is the United States in a debt crisis? Make your case.
  2. The dollar amount that the United States has borrowed and owes to creditors (now in the tens of trillions of dollars) is one measure of the national debt. What other statistics or ratios might be used to express it? Is it useful to compare the country’s financial situation with the debt and earnings of a family?
  3. Think of the relationship between debt and investment in the both the private and in the public sense. Are debt and investment always intertwined?
  4. What is the link between foreign policy and the national debt? Does the U.S. debt owned by foreign governments pose any immediate dangers to U.S. foreign policy?

Should We Consider the Constitution to Be “Living” or “Dead”?

What’s It About? Over the course of U.S history, Supreme Court justices have used—and will continue to use—alternative judicial philosophies to render legal decisions about the constitutionality of laws and executive actions. The Issue? What role did judicial philosophy play in the District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) decision, a Second Amendment case on the right to bear arms. Campaign Financing Essay. Use APA referencing style.


  1. Two judicial philosophies (among others not discussed in the video) guide interpretation of the U.S. Constitution: living constitutionalism and originalism. How would you compare living constitutionalism with originalism? Is the nation better served by having justices with different judicial philosophies on the Supreme Court?
  2. Is it possible for two originalist jurists to interpret the intentions of the Framers differently?
  3. What are the implications for gun-control policy in the United States given the Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller?
  4. Did the Explainer video change or influence your thinking about whether we should consider the U.S. Constitution to be living or dead?