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"The right of petition is one of the most sacred enjoyed by man. When that is lost, there is little left in civil government which is valuable." (Introduction)
Debate Comparison

Getting Congress to Pay Attention

After 9/11, the first responders sought compensation from Congress for health problems linked to toxic conditions at Ground Zero. From the "gag rule" to gyrocopters, lawmakers and citizens have battled to steer national debates.

This Debate Comparison is a part of the EDCollection:

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60-90 minutes
  • Civil War
  • National Security
  • Politics
  • Protests
  • 7-12
  • College/University

You're Exploring Freedom of Action

Does Congress have to listen?

Gag Rule teaser

1836: Anti-Slavery Talk 'Gagged' in Congress

In the name of preserving peace, Congress passes a rule to prevent abolitionists from presenting anti-slavery petitions.


2015: Flying a Petition to Congress

A man breaks the law and risks his life to land a gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn, hoping to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform.

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