Segments in this Video

Knowledge of Bill of Rights (08:35)


Bill Moyers informally does a "man-on-the-street" interview with people after he hands them copies of The Bill of Rights. He asks if they know what the words mean. A wide range of responses is given.

Supreme Court and School Prayer (03:30)

In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that prayer in schools was unconstitutional. Lawrence Roth's lawsuit led to decision by the highest court.

Aftermath of Supreme Court Decision (03:51)

Lawrence and his son recall what happened right after the Supreme Court decision to end school pray. They were terrorized, their lives threatened, and burning crosses were put on their property. Lawrence himself is a praying man.

Taking a Stand (01:47)

Bill Moyers asks Lawrence Roth his reasons for taking a stand against prayer in public schools. Joe Roth, a youngster at the time, recalls how teachers responded to him when he didn't pray the Regents' prayer.

Paradox of Hate and Religion (03:31)

Lawrence Roth reflects on the school prayer issue. He did not expect the Court decision to be an attack on God or religion. Moyers reads the commentary of Cardinals Spellman and McIntyre in which they equate taking prayer out of schools with communism.

To Fight City Hall (03:42)

A truth extracted from Lawrence Roth's lawsuit that ended in a landmark Supreme Court decision is that people have the opportunity in America to "fight city hall."

McCarthy Hysteria (00:47)

Archival film footage shows a segment of the McCarthy trials. Dorothy Kenyon reads her denial statement.

Loyalty Oaths (04:17)

Loyalty oaths were forced upon people whose jobs at state universities were at stake if they did not sign their oaths. Two college professors recall those days and explain why they refused to sign.

Academic Freedom (03:53)

Professor Harry Keyishian, who refused to sign loyalty oaths in the 1960s, recalls that his family was his greatest concern. Moyers, Keyishian, and Professor Hochfield discuss the term 'academic freedom'.

Individual Rights (03:32)

Does the State have the right to inquire into one's political beliefs in order to preserve itself? Two professors who refused to sign loyalty oaths reflect on their disappointment over the failure of their fellow academes to follow their example.

Satisfaction of the (02:24)

Professors who refused to sign loyalty oaths went one step further and challenged the constitutionality of the oaths. They express their satisfaction at the decision, and praise the justice system and the Constitution.

Privacy in the Bedroom (08:02)

Privacy in the bedroom was the issue in 1986 when the Supreme Court upheld a Georgia that made sodomy a crime. A gay man tells how his abuse at the hands of the system urged him to taking legal action challenging Georgia's laws.

AIDS and the State (05:51)

A homosexual man responds to Bill Moyers' questions about AIDS and the State's need to protect itself.

Democracy (01:33)

Democracy, Moyers reminds us, is hard won--by people who have the courage to stand up and say, "Enough!" These are the people who breathe life into the Constitution and bring us back to fundamentals: freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly.

Credits: For the People (02:19)

Credits: For the People

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For the People

Part of the Series : In Search of the Constitution
DVD Price: $79.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $119.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $79.95



This program examines the impact of the Constitution on the lives of American citizens, as seen in three landmark Supreme Court cases—Engel v. Vitale (school prayer), Keyishian v. Board of Regents (academic freedom), and Bowers v. Hardwick (sodomy). (60 minutes)

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL4914

ISBN: 978-1-4213-9252-3

Copyright date: ©1987

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.