The Biden administration finalized a rule on Aug. 24, 2022 to make DACA a federal regulation (instead of a policy). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule is set to take effect on Oct. 31, 2022 and will codify the policy in the federal government’s code of regulations. The new regulation purposefully addressed the steps Judge Hanen ruled the Obama administration should have taken in 2012, including making the regulation open to public comment. Whether policy or regulation, however, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is hearing the Biden administration’s appeal of Hanen’s ruling, could still keep DACA closed to new applicants or terminate the program altogether.
About 75-80% of North American students will dissect an animal by the time they graduate high school. Should they switch to synthetic alternatives?
On Aug. 24, 2022, President Biden announced a short loan freeze through Dec. 31, 2022 as well as a cancellation of “up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients, and up to $10,000 for other qualifying borrowers.” The White House stated about 43 million borrowers would benefit from the cancellation, with 20 million borrowers qualifying to have their debt completely canceled.
32 states and DC have some variation of free college programs. 9 states have statewide programs with “few eligibility limits,” while 23 have “[s]tate sponsored free college tuition programs with income, merit, geographical or programmatic limitations.” 18 states have no free college programs.
38% of Americans want to keep the filibuster with no changes, 38% believe the Senate should reform filibuster rules, and 19% would get rid of the filibuster entirely. However, only 19% of Americans stated they were “very familiar” with how the filibuster functions, while 12% were “not too familiar” or “not at all familiar” with the strategy and 29% had never heard of the filibuster. Learn more about this oft-talked about, but little understood debate.
On July 13, 2022, Florida erected a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune to replace their confederate soldier statue. Bethune’s is the first state-commissioned statue of a Black person to be included in Statuary Hall
On June 23, 2022, the FDA ordered Juul to stop selling “all of their products currently marketed in the United States.” The order included removing products currently on the market, including Juul devices (vape pens) and pods (cartridges). *A US federal appeals court put the ban on hold on June 24, 2022, pending Juul’s appeal.
An Oct. 2021 Gallup Center on Black Voices survey found 62% of American adults believe the federal government has an obligation to reduce the effects of slavery; 37% believe the government has no such obligation. Of those who support government action, 65% believe all black Americans should benefit, while 32% believe only the descendants of enslaved people should benefit.
Between Apr. 28, 2021, and Apr. 28, 2022, ProCon asked readers their thoughts on how the internet affects their brains and whether online information is reliable and trustworthy. See the results now.
The mission took three paying customers and a former NASA astronaut to the ISS.
The US Supreme Court ruled on Apr. 21, 2022 that Puerto Ricans do not have a constitutional right to some federal benefits, including Supplemental Security Income. The ruling could be applied by Congress to other benefits such as Medicare and Social Security, even though Puerto Ricans pay federal taxes.
On Apr. 8, 2022, a SpaceX capsule launched, carrying three paying customers and a former NASA astronaut on a 10-day roundtrip to the International Space Station (ISS).
Begun by President Trump, the student loan repayment pause will have been in effect for over two years by the end of the current pause’s end in Aug. 2022.
Book challenges jumped to an all-time high in 2021 with 729 challenges, containing a total of 1,597 books.
While the current debate about employer vaccine mandates in the United States centers upon COVID-19 requirements, mandates and the debate about them are as old as the country itself.
The US Senate unanimously approved a bill that would make DST permanent as of Nov. 20, 2023 if approved by the House and signed by President Biden. The delay is meant to give airlines and other transportation providers time to adjust to the change as they set schedules months ahead of time.
As of Jan. 10, 2022, the USDA listed 12 bioengineered products available in the US: alfalfa, Arctic apples, canola, corn, cotton, BARI Bt Begun varieties of eggplant, ringspot virus-resistant varieties of papaya, pink flesh varieties of pineapple, potato, AquAdvantage salmon, soybean, summer squash, and sugarbeet. Find out more about the GMO foods debate.
A 2021 survey found 38% of respondents streamed three or more hours of content on weekdays, and 48% did so on weekends.
On Dec. 6, 2021, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics: “The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic games given [China’s] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”
On Oct. 12, 2021, the FDA authorized the Vuse e-cigarette and cartridges, marketed by R.J. Reynolds one of the world’s largest cigarette manufacturers. The move is the first time the FDA authorized any vaping product. According to a statement from the FDA, the organization “determined that the potential benefit to smokers who switch completely or significantly reduce their cigarette use, would outweigh the risk to youth.
CBD sales for pets are expected to jump to $629 million in 2021 as more people work from home and adopt “pandemic pets.” What do you think about giving your pets CBD?
On Sep. 9, 2021, the deadline for reviewing vaping products, the FDA announced that they had made decisions on 93% of the 6.5 million submitted applications for “deemed” new tobacco products (“‘deemed’ new” means the FDA newly has authority to review the products but the products may already be on the market), including denying 946,000 vaping products “because their applications lacked sufficient evidence that they have a benefit to adult smokers to overcome the public health threat posed by the well-documented, alarming levels of youth use.” The FDA had taken no action on JUUL products as of Sep. 9.
Explore the question of whether parents or other adults should be able to ban books from schools and libraries with this updated Top 3 article.
From 2015 to 2019, ride-hailing app use increased from 15% of Americans to 36%. Explore the debate about whether the apps are a social benefit in an updated top 3 article.
As of Apr. 2021, there are 241 accredited zoos in the United States. Should these zoos exist for conservation and educational purposes? Or are zoos cruel to the animals imprisoned in them?
The FDA has until Sep. 9, 2021 to decide whether to continue allowing flavored vape liquid, putting the safety of vaping back in the news.
With Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos traveling to space recently, the debate about whether to colonize space has been reignited.
UNC athletes will be able to earn money for NIL marketing including UNC trademarks and logos in groups of three or more athletes. For example, a student athlete will be compensated for the sale of a jersey featuring their name, or for a sponsorship deal in which they appear wearing a UNC jersey. Group licensing deals in theory can allow lesser-known players to reap the benefits of appearing alongside a well-known player.
Statues of Confederate Army Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, which were at the center of an Aug. 12, 2017 violent and deadly white nationalist rally, were removed to storage on July 10, 2021.
Explore the debate with the top three pros and cons.
Japan announced a COVID-19 state of emergency and banned all spectators from Olympics venues.
Explore the debate surrounding Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL), or pit bull bans, in our new top 2 article.
On June 30, 2019, fewer than 12 hours before some states’ NIL laws went into effect, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors issued an interim ruling stating that Bylaw 12 (the rules that say athletes cannot receive payment) will not be enforced. Divisions II and III of the NCAA followed suit and the changes went into effect for all three divisions on July 1, 2021.
The NCAA Division I Council recommended to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors that student athletes be allowed to profit from their name, image, and likeness. If adopted, the rule would only apply to Division I schools and would be temporary until the NCAA or Congress acts.
Michelle Bachelet stated, “Reparations are essential for transforming relationships of discrimination and inequity and for mutually committing to and investing in a stronger, more resilient future of dignity, equality and non-discrimination for all.”
Learn about both sides of these debates in our new article.
Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, stated, “traditions alone cannot justify the NCAA’s decision to build a massive money-raising enterprise on the backs of student athletes who are not fairly compensated. Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate. And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law.”
As of June 10, 2021, 18 states have passed NIL laws; five more states have passed bills that were awaiting the governor’s signature to become law; 14 states have introduced NIL bills; and one state has a bill passed by the Senate and awaiting a House vote, according to the Business of College Sports.
Brisbane was the only city to bid. The Winter 2030 Games have not yet been granted to a city.
A Jan. 2021 study found that losing foreign spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions could cost Japan as much as $23 billion.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco directed the ATF, DEA, FBI and US Marshals to develop body camera policies for public interactions.
Most single-use water bottles wind up in the trash instead of the recycle, but many would choose a soda if bottled water isn’t available. Which side of the debate do you land on?
Respondents were split 50/50 in a June 1, 2021 New York Times survey about whether the NCAA strictly limiting paid compensation is constitutional.
With support for the laws coming from the Biden Administration, the debate may be heating back up.
Explore the ongoing debate and the join the conversation in the comments or on social media.
Japanese officials announced that the Games would be closed to foreign spectators amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a country-wide ban on international visitors (which is expected to be lifted days before the Olympic torch relay). Despite the delay, the 2020 Games (which are retaining that name despite taking place in 2021) will debut four new sports: karate, skateboard, sports climbing, and surfing. Baseball and softball will return for the first time since Beijing 2008.
Explore this hot topic via three updated pros and cons.
On Feb. 13, 2021, the Senate voted 57-43, largely along party lines, to acquit President Trump in the second impeachment trial.
The Tokyo Games are still scheduled to be played in summer 2021.
The House delivered the article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, with an agreed upon trial start the week of Feb. 8, 2021. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will preside over the impeachment trial as president pro tempore of the Senate.
The resolution charges Trump with “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” that resulted in the Jan. 6, 2021 events in which “a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol, injured law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress and the Vice President, interfered with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify election results, and engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”
Explore our updated article, with new information such as the recent ban of corporal punishment in Japan.
Read ProCon.org’s Top 3 Pros and Cons on whether parents or other adults should be able to ban books from schools and libraries.
The federal government continues to invest in body worn cameras for departments across the country. Should police officers wear body cameras?
Should police departments be defunded, if not abolished? Explore arguments on both sides of the debate.
On June 10, 2020, the US Soccer Federation rescinded the league’s requirement that players stand during the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd. The US Soccer Federation stated, “It has become clear that this policy was wrong and detracted from the important message of Black Lives Matter.”
Researchers at Stanford University found that vote-by-mail increases voter turnout between 1.9 and 2.4%, but doesn’t favor Democrats or Republicans.
In 2019, the ALA recorded 377 reported book challenges in the United States, an 8.6% increase from the 347 reported challenges in 2018. Eight of the books have LGBTQ+ content and three have sexual content.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill on Sunday making Election Day a state holiday with the intention of making it easier for voters to cast their ballots in elections. See the pros and cons of declaring Election Day a holiday across the nation.
The Tokyo 2020 Summer Games were postponed to a date “not later than summer 2021” due to global concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Trump announced plans to have the FDA remove e-cigarette flavors such as mint and menthol from the market. Read more about the pros and cons of whether vaping is safe.
Learn about the presidential candidates’ views on important issues, compare them with a side-by-side chart, find your best match with a fun quiz, track their finances, and so much more on our 2020 Presidential Election website. The New York Times called our previous presidential election site “The most comprehensive tool for researching the candidate’s stance on issues.” Check back monthly for expanded issue coverage.
ProCon.org’s newest lesson plan features the philosophical chairs debate, a method that gets students out of their chairs and allows them to change their minds mid-debate while keeping an open mind about controversial issues.
Our new topic explores the pros and cons in the debate over making birth control pills available over-the-counter (OTC). 9.1 million women (12.6% of contraceptive users) use birth control pills, which are the second-most commonly used method of contraception in the United States. Proponents say making the birth control pill available over-the-counter would lower teen pregnancy rates, provide contraceptive access to medically underserved women, and ease access to a health-improving drug with decades of safe use. Opponents say making the Pill over-the-counter would raise the cost of contraception for women, pose a danger to teens’ and women’s health by removing the doctor’s visit requirement, and limit what options are made available.
Our new website presents the top pro & con arguments and quotes, a history of the debate, a video gallery, the prescription status of birth control pills around the world, and a list of drugs switched from prescription to OTC status.
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We’re excited to announce 50 free lesson plan ideas for educators! Visit our Teachers’ Corner for inspiration, including lessons plans about distinguishing fact from opinion, how to write a “call-to-action” letter, and content from our partner Credo Reference.