This lesson explains the structure and function of the judicial branch. Students will learn how the Supreme Court originated, how cases are selected, and why it is an important institution. In the accompanying Annenberg Classroom video âA Conversation on the Constitution: The Origin, Nature and Importance of the Supreme Court,â Chief Justice John G. Roberts answers students' questions about the Supreme Court and his role as chief justice of the United States.
In this new version of Court Quest, jump on the Justice Express and help guide ordinary citizens who are looking for justice through local, state and federal court systems.
This discussion guide is for use with the video âDeciding Difficult Cases,â which features Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, interviewing the Hon. Emmet G. Sullivan, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, at the Fair and Impartial Judiciary Symposium on October 26, 2019, at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
This lesson is based on the Annenberg Classroom video that explores the evolution of the free press doctrine, Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. United States
In this lesson, based on the Annenberg Classroom video âYick Wo and the Equal Protection Clause,â students explore the cause-and-effect relationships between historical events and the development of constitutional principles that protect the rights of all people in America today. The words inscribed on the U.S. Supreme Court building are a reminder of that protection: âEqual Justice Under Law.â
Who wants to be President? Players must use their multitasking skills as they consider bills to sign, fly off for diplomatic meetings and act as commander-in-chief to handle a military crisis.
Eleven short videos feature constitutional experts, lawyers and judges who discuss juries and jury service, including the American and English histories, the types of juries, how a trial works, and the perspective from the judge, defense and prosecution.
The Fair and Impartial Judiciary Symposium convened lawyers, scholars, judges and thought leaders at the University of Pennsylvania Law School to address the meaning and impact of an independent judiciary. The topics included the meaning of âfair and impartial judiciaryâ; the difference between state and federal courts; the challenges to judicial independence; deciding difficult cases; and the Supreme Court. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy gave the closing talk on âThe Nature of Judicial Independence.â The symposium was organized by the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Education in partnership with the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Discussion guides accompany the videos.
This film explores the First Amendment right of the âpeople peaceably to assembleâ through the lens of the U.S. Supreme Court case National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie. The legal fight between neo-Nazis and Holocaust survivors over a planned march in a predominantly Jewish community led to a ruling that said the neo-Nazis could not be banned from marching peacefully because of the content of their message.
In this lesson, based on the Annenberg Classroom video âA Conversation on the Constitution: Freedom of Speech,â students gain insight into the many challenges involved in defining and protecting free speech. They also learn about principles that come from Supreme Court decisions and case law that are applied to define the limits for us today.
This documentary examines the First Amendment's protection of a free press as well as the historic origins of this right and the ramifications of the landmark ruling in New York Times v. United States, the Pentagon Papers case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prior restraint is unconstitutional. Justice Hugo Black wrote: âOnly a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government . . . â
One of our oldest human rights, habeas corpus safeguards individual freedom by preventing unlawful or arbitrary imprisonment. This documentary examines habeas corpus and the separation of powers in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks as the Supreme Court tried to strike a balance between the president's duty to protect the nation and the constitutional protection of civil liberties in four major Guantanamo Bay cases: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Rasul v. Bush, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and Boumediene v. Bush.
Closed captions available in English and Spanish.
This discussion guide is for use with the video âHow Do Judges Decide Cases?â which features the Hon. Anthony J. Scirica of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Stephen Burbank, professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, at the Fair and Impartial Judiciary Symposium on October 26, 2019, at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
The process of how a bill becomes a federal law is more than a series of linked steps. It is the fundamental way people in a democracy get involved and work through their elected officials to meet needs and solve problems to benefit themselves and other Americans. Through this lesson, students will learn about the dynamic process of federal lawmaking and how it relates to them.
The estimated time for the lesson is three to five class periods. It is aligned to the National Standards for Civics and Government.
This lesson explores the role of the judiciary in relation to the legislative and executive branches and how judicial independence has evolved since the founding of the nation. Two significant cases covered in the lesson, Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) and Cooper v. Aaron (1958), exemplify the importance of an independent judiciary. Students will use their knowledge based on watching the Annenberg Classroom video âAn Independent Judiciary.â
This documentary, featuring Justice Stephen G. Breyer and leading constitutional scholars, chronicles two key moments that defined our understanding of the role of the judiciary: the Cherokee Nation's struggles before the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1830s to preserve its homeland in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, and Cooper v. Aaron (1958), which affirmed that states were bound to follow the Court's order to integrate their schools. (34 min)
This discussion guide is for use with the video âIs the Supreme Court Different?â which features a conversation with Linda Greenhouse, the Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph M. Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, who is interviewed by Theodore W. Ruger, dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, at the Fair and Impartial Judiciary Symposium on October 26, 2019, at the Penn Law School.
In a constitutional system of government, the role of the judiciary is essential for maintaining the balance of power, protecting individual rights, upholding the rule of law, interpreting the Constitution, and ensuring equal justice for all.
The estimated time for this lesson plan is two class periods.
This documentary tells how a Black construction worker's personal-injury lawsuit against his employer evolved into a landmark jury selection case on the Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co. that under the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause, parties in civil cases cannot use race-based peremptory challenges to reject potential jurors.
In this lesson, students learn about the process used for jury selection and how the role and responsibilities of government in civil and criminal jury trials are viewed by the Supreme Court. They also reflect on the democratic values, principles, and dispositions of character working behind the scenes.