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Homeland security is an enormous and constantly growing subject area. This module can serve as
an introduction to the legal ramifications of homeland security and can provide the foundation for
further study. Due to this topic’s relevancy and controversial nature, as well as the almost daily
news reports covering it, the constitutional issues involved in national security are well suited for a wide range of class discussions and research projects.
The module has been divided into three major sections which are somewhat independent, thus allowing instructors to pick and choose which
topics time and relevance dictate, while at the same time providing bite-sized topics in this
vast area of developing law
This module will present an introduction to and overview of current
issues in the areas of national security and homeland security, including the roles of the President,
Congress and the courts. Exploration of this topic is appropriate for classes in government,
civics, history, our contemporary legal system, legal research and analysis, and debate as well as
courses for emergency first responders. The module provides a look at specific federal laws and landmark cases
about homeland defense which can be used to teach students how to research and analyze real-life legal
Students will become more interested in following the latest developments in homeland security and in performing critical analysis of the legal issues involved in the national security arena.
Students will be able to discuss these legal issues in an informed and logical way.
Students will demonstrate knowledge of the legal issues and legal authority involved
in national security and homeland defense.
Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills used in the analysis and interpretation
of the laws governing national security and homeland defense.
Teaching and Learning Methodology
The module addresses the needs of all learning styles and can be used either as a self-paced online
course or in the traditional classroom setting. What is critical is the opportunity for discussion,
which can be synchronous (in class or through an online course’s live chat function) or asynchronous
(via online discussion board). This module includes case studies (readings) for visual learners
and group activities such as analysis and debate for auditory and active learners.
The discussions are interactive and meant to assist in the preparation of students
to intelligently discuss relevant issues in both classroom and small group settings.
(These discussions are even more lively when conducted online where students feel free to express their opinions.)
Cases are provided so that students can download and read them without additional research. On the other hand,
independent research and reading will give the students the necessary guidance to conduct
additional learning outside the classroom.
Although quiz questions are given in the Resources section, this topic lends itself to case readings, analysis, and debate.
The legal foundations of homeland defense are thus best explored through the reading of landmark cases and laws. In most
of the sub-sections there are some of those cases and laws available for downloading. Questions are then offered to start class or group
discussions and debate.
A suggested assessment form is provided to evaluate a student's analysis and presentation.
Using the team method develops the ability to discuss the merits of a particular view that may not be the same
as the individual student's personal view.
Each sub-topic is separate and distinct, allowing the instructor to select a particular aspect for discussion, as time permits.
Relevance to Academia and Industry
The legal basis discussed in this module is applicable not only to the intelligence community, law enforcement, and first responders, but also to every citizen of the United States.
With respect to the emerging course of study for first responders, it is imperative that this course of study begin with an understanding of the legal parameters in which they must work.
Homeland Security is now being recognized as a legitimate field of study that will only grow in depth and complexity in tandem with the complexities of the world we live in. Government and
industry have come to recognize the need for individuals who understand and can apply the laws, court decisions, and
administrative regulations grouped under this subject heading.