Jan. 8, 2002 – No Child Left Behind Act Becomes Law
On Jan. 8, 2002 President George Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 into law in an effort to provide a higher quality education in primary and secondary schools by increasing standards in states school districts. The standards based education reform law requires that school districts give assessments of basic skills for students in certain grades in order to receive federal funding. The law also boosted requirements for standards in teacher quality.
Jan. 7, 1999 – President Clintons Senate Impeachment Trial Begins
On Jan. 7, 1999 President Bill Clinton’s Senate impeachment trial proceedings began. The trial was a result of a number of scandals that involved the President and First Lady. Investigations had been conducted in response to fraudulent real-estate dealings, fundraising violations and sexual harassment.
The scandal that received the most attention, however, was President Clinton’s affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The President denied allegations of the affair for nearly a year, allowing House Republican leaders to begin the impeachment process, citing perjury and obstruction of justice. Although the House of Representatives voted to impeach, the following Senate trial led to President Clinton’s acquittal of all charges.
Jan. 6, 1936 – The Agricultural Adjustment Act is Found Unconstitutional
On Jan. 6, 1936 a United States Supreme Court ruling found that the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which worked to raise the price of crops in order to provide stability to the farming community, to be unconstitutional. The law, which had been enacted in 1933, worked by paying government subsidies to farmers in exchange for a reduction of their crop area in order to reduce surplus and raise prices.
However, the Agricultural Adjustment Act earned proceeds to pay farmers by taxing processors of farm products. The Supreme Court found this method of taxation a violation of the Tenth Amendment. The Supreme Court also found that making subsidy payments to farmers based on their reduction of crops to be beyond the powers of the national government.
Jan. 5, 1982 – Law Requiring a Balance Between Evolution and Creationism in the Classroom Struck Down
On Jan. 5, 1982 U.S. District Court Judge William R. Overton ruled in the case of McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, striking down an existing Arkansas state law. The law, also known as Act 590, mandated the equal treatment of creationism in classrooms where evolution was taught. Judge Overton found this law to be unconstitutional in light of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which states that ''Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.''
Jan. 4, 1974 – Richard Nixon Refuses to Hand Over Subpoenaed Tapes Amidst the Watergate Scandal
On Jan. 4, 1974 President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tapes of white house conversations that had been subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. After the appointment of a new special prosecutor in the case, Nixon eventually agreed to release edited transcripts of the tapes, claimed that sensitive national security information needed to be erased. When the Supreme Court ruled that the executive privileges of the tapes were in fact void, Nixon was forced to surrender the materials.