The Supreme Court and the 1876 Presidential Election – Video

In 1876 the outcome of the presidential election between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes was decided by a 15-member Commission, which included 5 Supreme Court Justices. Usually, the Hayes-Tilden election is taught as the event that ended Reconstruction, but this 15-minute video adds to that story. It examines the nuts of bolts of presidential

Lessons Plans for “Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Court-packing Controversy”

These lesson plans for basic high school and for AP US History have been created for students who have watched the video. They include activities such as analyzing part of the text of FDR’s Court-packing Plan,  interpreting political cartoons reacting to the plan, and discussing the intersection of the three branches of government. 

Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. United States

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 in which the Supreme Court that prior restraint is unconstitutional. The federal government could not prevent newspapers from publishing the Pentagon Papers. A lesson plan, Defenders of Liberty: The People and the Press, accompanies the video.

Grades 12, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Foundations of Democracy
Closed Captions

The Right to Remain Silent: Miranda v. Arizona

This documentary explores the landmark Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona that said criminal suspects, at the time of their arrest but before any interrogation, must be told of their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and Sixth Amendment right to an attorney. The decision led to the familiar Miranda warning that begins “You have the right to remain silent…”

Grades 8, 9-12
Foundations of Democracy
Closed Captions

An Independent Judiciary: Cherokee Nation v. Georgia and Cooper v. Aaron

This documentary explores the Supreme Court cases Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) and Cooper v. Aaron (1958) that defined our understanding of the role of the judiciary. In Cherokee Nation, the Supreme Court ruled it lacked the jurisdiction to review the claims of an Indian nation in the U.S. In Cooper v. Aaron, the Court affirmed that its interpretation of the Constitution was the “supreme law of the land” and that states were bound by its decisions. A PDF lesson guide is provided.

Grades 11, 12, 8, 9, 10
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
Closed Captions