Joe Foss Institute

Bill of Rights Turns 223!

by JoeFossInstitute on December 15, 2014

Celebrate the 223rd birthday of the Bill of Rights. Join online from 10 am to 3:30 pm for four sets of live events celebrating Bill of Rights Day. Authors will be discussing the Constitution and the historic figures related to it. Thanks to our friends at the National Constitution Center.BoR-Book-Fest-Home-Page-Slider

Justice Brennan’s Fight to Preserve the Legacy of New York Times v. Sullivan (10 – 11 a.m.)

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the case that changed the First Amendment, has protected the freedom of expression for the past 50 years. Join First Amendment lawyer Lee Levine and veteran Supreme Court reporter Stephen Wermiel as they tell the story of Justice Brennan’s struggle to stop efforts to overturn the landmark case. Click here to watch live:

Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of the Left and Right (11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.)

Conservative intellectual Yuval Levin and the National Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen explore the origins of the left/right divide by examining the views of the men who best represented each side of that debate at its outset: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. Levin and Rosen will bring the conversation to today’s political discourse—on issues ranging from abortion to welfare, education, economics, and beyond. Click here to watch live:

The Conscience of the Constitution (1:15 – 2:15 p.m.)

Is liberty or democracy the primary constitutional value? Join constitutional scholars Timothy Sandefur and Kermit Roosevelt for a conversation exploring this compelling question— the basis for Sandefur’s most recent book The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty. Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen moderates. Click here to watch live:

John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation (2:30 – 3:30 p.m.)

Award-winning author Harlow Giles Unger reveals how John Marshall emerged from the Revolutionary War’s bloodiest battlefields to become one of the nation’s most important Founding Fathers. As the longest-serving Chief Justice in American history, Marshall transformed the Supreme Court from an irrelevant appeals court into the powerful and controversial branch of government that Americans today either revere or criticize. Click here to watch live:


North Dakota Joins Push for Citizenship Test

by JoeFossInstitute on December 4, 2014

citizen_gradNorth Dakota became the latest state to join the Civics Education Initiative. First lady Betsey Dalryumple, along with educators and lawmakers, unveiled the bill earlier this week. North Dakota joins seven other states, South Dakota, Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah currently pushing the test. The pending legislation would require high school seniors to pass a 100- question test to graduate. This is the same test all immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship must pass. For more information or to get involved, visit

#Giving Tuesday

by JoeFossInstitute on December 1, 2014

Today, December 2, is a national day of generosity, #GivingTuesday. It’s a day when you can make a big impact on the Joe Foss Institute (JFI). With your help, monies raised today will directly impact students, teachers and veterans.blue_dark

Your contributions help students like Jeff, a tenth-grade student from Arizona. After a Veterans Inspiring Patriotism presentation, he writes, “Yesterday you made me more proud that I am an American.” Or Jessica, a seventh-grader from Texas, “Thank you, you helped me learn about how this country was founded. You gave your time to fight for this country. You taught me how to respect and love my country even more.”

Civics Education in our country is in crisis with fewer than half of eighth-graders understanding the purpose of the Bill of Rights and three-quarters of high school seniors unable to name a power granted to Congress by the Constitution.

Your donation today will put more veterans in classrooms and offer more teachers civics education lesson plans to use with their students. To date, JFI has served more than 1.4 million students, however, more needs to be done. Your help makes it possible.

If you make a gift online, we will earn matching funds from our partner, Network for Good – making your support go even further. With your support, we can advance civics education and patriotism for America’s future leaders – our children

Civics Challenged!

by JoeFossInstitute on November 24, 2014

Can you do better than the students below? Three out of every four 12th graders are unable to name a power of Congress granted to them by the Constitution. Get involved and support the Joe Foss Institute and our affiliate, the Civics Education Initiative. Simple in concept, the Civics Education Initiative requires High School students, as a condition for graduation, to pass a test on 100 basic facts of U.S. history and civics taken from the United States CitiCivics Challengedzenship Civics Test – the test all immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship must pass.

JFI Is Proud To Welcome Jay Leno

by JoeFossInstitute on November 20, 2014

Famed comedian and Tonight Show host Jay Leno will be the featured entertainment and Lifetime Achievement honoree for the 2015 Stars in Service benefiting the Joe Foss Institute and our affiliate, the Civics Education Initiative. See Jay’s latest surprise JFI-Stars-in-Service-2015for one our country’s veterans.

You Made It Happen!

by JoeFossInstitute on November 18, 2014

Our VIP presenters have been busy. During the time leading up to and including the week of Veterans Day, JFI served more than B2K0NU2IUAABZBl84,000 students nationwide. Thank you to our Veteran presenters and supporters. You made it happen for these kids! 

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