Owasso v. Falvo (2002)

Does the practice of peer grading violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered this question in 2002.

  • Resource Type: Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Lawrence v. Texas (2003)

Does a Texas law that criminalizes sexual intimacy by same-sex couples violate the Fourteenth Amendment? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2003.

  • Resource Type: Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Pursuit of Justice

The Pursuit of Justice book, written by Kermit L. Hall and John J. Patrick, analyzes 30 Supreme Court cases chosen by a group of Supreme Court justices and leading civics educators as the most important for American citizens to understand. An additional 100 significant cases included in state history and civics standards are summarized. The complete book or individuals chapters can be downloaded.

  • Resource Type: Books
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Troxel v. Granville (2000)

Is a Washington state law that allows any third party to petition for child visitation rights over parental objections constitutional? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered this question in 2000.

  • Resource Type: Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Snowden and the NSA

A mere nine months ago no one knew the name Edward Snowden. Now not a week goes by without a news story related to his revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA). No doubt your class has already begun to ponder the implications of NSA information gathering and what it says about our system of governance. Does the executive branch, which controls the NSA through the Department of Defense, have too much power? How do we resolve the tension between liberty and security? Is Snowden, who released classified information, a traitor or a whistleblower? Were his actions morally justified?

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Supreme Court Roundup 2012-2013

The 2012 – 2013 Supreme Court term is in full swing, and there are are many cases that deal with important questions of constitutional law on the docket. Use the following resources and discussion questions to analyze and discuss the issues with your students.
Discussion Questions: How does the Fourth Amendment protect citizens? Do you think someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy with regards to ‘smells’ emitting from their home? How do you believe the court should rule? What is your constitutional reasoning?

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The U.S. Census

This Current Events and the Constitution focuses on the U.S. Census. With the 2010 census now underway, some have concerns that the questions are too personal or that the federal government should not have access to this information. Do the questions on the 2010 census form exceed Congress’s constitutional mandate to count population every ten years “in such a manner as they shall by law direct”?

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Unlocking your Cellphone: Property Rights in the Digital Age

If there’s one gadget nearly impossible to live without in the 21st century, it’s the cellphone. Most of us keep one on us at all times, and a recent survey showed that for a majority of 18-34 year olds giving up their smartphone would be the hardest possession to live without. But is it really YOUR smartphone?

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12