Texas abortion case: a civics lesson on the federal court system

As the U.S. has grown through its history and adapted to new circumstances, so, too, has the judicial branch. Its history suggests that it will continue to do so into the future.

Supreme Court decisions establish precedent for future cases

Even though the Supreme Court does not resolve a large proportion of the cases that are presented to it, the decisions it does issue reverberate to affect many other disputes through the principle of precedent. Its decisions on a handful of cases can, over time, expand and contract the rights of the entire nation.

A brief history of vote by mail

For many voters, 2020 may have been their first experience with voting by mail. However, VBM in both the United States and Utah specifically is not new. In America, VBM has a history that spans centuries.

Why the judiciary is so distinct: It was designed to react, not initiate action

The judiciary branch is designed as a responsive, not proactive, branch of government. The court can’t tell Congress not to pass an unconstitutional law or tell the president not to issue a legally invalid order. It must wait until after those actions take effect and someone challenges them.

Celebrating our founding ideals: A Q&A with Celebrate Freedom author Bill Mattox

In a Q&A with Sutherland’s Derek Monson, Bill Mattox of the James Madison Institute explains his Celebrate Freedom curriculum, which has reached over a million Florida high school students.

Learning about America through primary sources: Dred Scott decision

It’s difficult to understand historical events critical to the modern American civic fabric – such as the Civil War and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – without first understanding Dred Scott, a Supreme Court ruling in 1857.

Latest Supreme Court religious freedom case: Boston flagpole dispute

Last week, the court announced it would hear another case involving a claim of unequal treatment.

Athletic uniforms and religious freedom: Illinois takes a positive step

Recently, Illinois became the first state to enact legislation that would protect the ability of people of faith to participate in school athletics (both in high school and college) without having to abandon their commitment to live consistent with standards of their faith.

Some historical context for Supreme Court abortion case

The specific question the court will consider is whether states are permitted by the U.S. Constitution to allow abortions prior to viability. In the background, however, is a much more significant question: whether the nearly 50-year-old decision by the court in Roe v. Wade should be abandoned.

A thoughtful discussion of critical race theory and civics education

Thinking beyond race – do our worries about things like the health of our democracy stem solely from the arguments, beliefs or tactics of our political opponents, or are they driven by elements of our own personal political perspectives?

The Sutherland Institute Civics Initiative

The Sutherland Institute Civics Initiative

In American education today, we’ve allowed an atrophy to occur. We’ve ignored the gradual reduction of history and civics and accepted an erosion of both content and context. But we can solve this problem – and it begins with families and communities. We can set aside partisan-driven approaches to history and civics and demand the most comprehensive, accurate and sequential approach to history, civics and citizenship ever conceived. That’s the Sutherland Civics Initiative.


Founded in 1995, Sutherland Institute is an independent research and educational institution – a think tank – whose mission is to advance sound ideas and principled public policy. Sutherland is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization and does not accept government funding. We rely on support from corporations, foundations and individuals like you that share a commitment to faith, family, and free markets. Sutherland consistently promotes solutions that serve community needs and build on areas of agreement. We believe people are more alike than different – that policy matters, principles matter more, and people matter most. Our mission includes a charge to build future leaders: educated, able and willing to defend a New Birth of Freedom for the next generation.

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“That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

~ President Abraham Lincoln


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