The Informed Citizen

Informed Citizen LogoJames Madison, the Father of our Constitution, once said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

The Informed Citizen, a civics blog of the NJSBF, will tackle civics-related topics with the goal of arming all citizens with the knowledge of how the Founding Fathers created the nation and what every citizen’s rights are under the U.S. Constitution.

Posts will be added to the blog every few weeks, presenting another civics-related issue. To suggest a civics-related topic for the blog, contact Jodi L. Miller at [email protected]

For more on civics, check out the Civics Publications toggle on our Publications Page, download a copy of the Special Civics Edition of The Legal Eagle or order one of our civics-related publications, including the Bill of Rights Bulletin using our Publication Order Form.

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Setting the Terms on Term Limits

No one likes the guest that stays too long at the party. But in terms of those that govern or adjudicate, how long is too long? The longest serving member of Congress was Congressman John Dingell, who represented Michigan for more than 59 years from 1955 until he...

Does the U.S. Constitution Need a Re-Write?

As a rule, written constitutions don’t last that long. Legal experts estimate the lifespan of a constitution is less than 20 years. Indeed, the United States’ first foray into a constitution, the Articles of Confederation, only lasted six years before making way for...

First Amendment and the Pledge of Allegiance

To some, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a sacred ritual that demonstrates American patriotism. The Pledge has been at the heart of several court rulings, however, most notably one brought by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1935. Given that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t vote...

Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

Every American is familiar with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Some may even be able to sing it or at least get through “O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light….” On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed the law that would officially designate “The...

Invoking the Ninth Amendment

The meaning and importance of the Ninth Amendment has literally been debated since its inception when it was included in the Bill of Rights. The amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage...

Is the Exclusionary Rule Still Relevant?

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Law & Order, you know that the police need a search warrant to enter your home. What you may not know is that was not always the case. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “The right of the people to be secure...

Ignorance of the Law Is Not an Excuse

If you are unaware you are breaking a law, should you be held accountable? In general, the law says yes. The legal principle of ignorantia juris non excusat (ignorance of the law excuses not) or ignorantia legis neminem excusat (ignorance of law excuses no one) is...