Congress and the courts have applied the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause to many aspects of public life over the past 150 years. In this activity, students will explore the evolution of the 14th Amendment through the lens of Title IX, which prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from excluding students from participating in educational and athletic programs on the basis of sex. The Supreme Court’s first Title IX case, Grove City College v. Bell, also demonstrates how each of the three branches exercises its authority.
Open Doors to Federal Courts is a bank of web resources and realistic court experiences developed by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for courtroom or classroom use. They inform with practical content about court structure and operations; inspire with first-person judge profiles; and involve high school students and teachers in true-to-life courtroom simulations with federal judges.
U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank, of Minnesota, is featured in the latest installment of the Pathways to the Bench video series produced by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to inspire and inform the public about the human face of the federal judiciary. In the series, individual judges talk about the personal, character-building challenges that have prepared them to serve on the bench. In this brief video, Judge Frank says that adversity has made him a better person and a better jurist.
In a five-minute video, federal judges offer insights into their thinking about the separation of powers and describe how healthy tensions among the branches have a stabilizing effect on democracy. The judges also share their respect for and commitment to this founding principle, which has an impact on everyday American life.
Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions is a national initiative of the federal courts that brings high school and college students into federal courthouses for legal proceedings that stem from situations in which law-abiding young people can find themselves. These court hearings (not mock trials) are realistic simulations that showcase jury deliberations in which all students and learning styles participate, using civil discourse skills. This activity includes: Reality Check Quiz and Discussion Starter; Civil Discourse Skill Building; Courtroom Simulation; and Reality Check Discussion.
Few people know the legal mind of justices or judges as well as the law clerks who have worked with them. Justice Thurgood Marshall’s former law clerks offer unique insights into the character, values, and thought processes of the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. In this 8.5-minute video called “Moments in History: Remembering Thurgood Marshall,” prominent lawyers reminisce about the examples of compassion and courage they saw in the life and work of this legal legend.
This short video from the U.S. Courts focuses on the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary. What does this concept mean to you? In this video, students question federal judges on these principles.
What is the nomination process for Supreme Court justices and federal judges? Find out in a multimedia package of educational resources geared to high school students, their teachers, and interested adults. What do judges promise in the judicial oath of office? What is the role of justices and judges? What kinds of information are nominees asked to share during the nomination process? What do judges, themselves, say about what it means to be impartial?
2018 is the 229th anniversary of the creation of the federal courts. What difference do they make in the daily lives of law-abiding teens? From that first check of the mobile device in the morning to the last newscast at night, decisions made in federal courts touch every aspect of daily life. Who are the judges making the decisions? How are they selected? What is their job description? What is an impartial judiciary? How was the federal court system created?
What does the First Amendment mean in the lives of teens? Over the years, the Supreme Court has struggled with First Amendment issues to determine what constitutes protected speech and, in particular, the speech of students. These activities, which engage all learning styles, apply Supreme Court precedents to relatable, teen scenarios. The modified trial simulations have been well tested in federal courtrooms. The resources are ready for immediate use in courtrooms and classrooms.
What does the Fourth Amendment mean in the lives of teens? When they are driving? When they are using their cell phone? When they are at a house party? The Supreme Court has found that it is not a guarantee against all searches and seizures, but only those that are deemed unreasonable under law. These activities, which engage all learning styles, apply Supreme Court precedents to relatable, teen scenarios. The resources are ready for immediate use in courtrooms and classrooms