We’ve all heard of the Cato Institute and the Bill of Rights Institute, but there’s a new institute on the block: The Harlan Institute for Constitutional Studies! The Harlan Institute, officially founded in 2009, focuses on educating America’s citizenry, particularly youth in high school, of the foundations and the influences on the United States Constitution throughout the years.
The Institute was founded by Josh Blackman, a law-clerk for the Honorable Kim R. Gibson of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Yaakov Roth, a former law-clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Harlan Institute also runs FantasySCOTUS.net, a fantasy game (similar to Fantasy Football, for example) that revolves around the Supreme Court. Participants are given points for correctly predicted rulings, splits, Justice-specific votes, and essentially play as “the tenth Justice.” A new version, FantasySCOTUS.org, is currently in the works.
The Harlan Institute also plans on launching YourConstitution.net, an interactive website showcasing the landmark supreme court cases which have influenced the courts’ interpretation of the Constitution, along with other interactive features.
Here is the Institute’s Mission Statement, to give you an idea of its work from the Institute itself:
The Harlan Institute’s mission is to bring a stylized law school experience into the high school classroom to ensure that our next generation of leaders has a proper understanding of our most fundamental laws. By utilizing the expertise of leading legal scholars and the interactivity of online games, Harlan will introduce students to our Constitution, the cases of the United States Supreme Court, and our system of justice. Harlan’s long term strategic goal is to develop condensed law school courses that can be taught at no cost in high schools across the country using engaging online programs. Harlan has partnered with iCivics, an organization founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, to help bring our products to students nationwide.