Article III of the Constitution is short compared to the Articles for Congress and the President. In these lessons, students will explore different documents to determine what the role of the judiciary is and why it is important that it was set up to be independent. Students will explore past and present efforts to adapt
Nominating Federal Judges
The Constitution specifies that the President appoints judges with the advice and consent of the Senate. This lesson explores how that process works. The students will be able to explain the politics and political processes of court appointments, interpret and analyze relevant charts, and hone and refine essay composition skills.
Co-Equal Leader: The Role of the Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice has numerous responsibilities besides leading the Supreme Court. Explore the roles and responsibilities of the head of the Judicial Branch and examine the seventeen Chief Justices with a helpful infographic.
Lessons plans for “The Supreme Court and the 1876 Presidential Election”
These lesson plans for both basic high school and AP US History have been created for students who have watched the video. Students will analyze a map of 1876 electoral votes, a cartoon depicting a Black voter being turned away from the ballot box, an infographic about voting procedures that highlights the role of canvassing
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
Marbury v. Madison, The Empowerment of the Judiciary – Video
Marbury v. Madison (1803) is the landmark decision that established the principle of judicial review. But the facts behind the case are complicated and often confusing to students, especially the part about original jurisdiction. This 15-minute video tells the story of Marbury in a clear and straightforward way. It uses period images—portraits and newspaper headlines—as
Life Story: John Marshall
The biography of John Marshall, the soldier, attorney, and American statesman who became the longest serving Chief Justice in Supreme Court History. After fighting in the Revolutionary War, John opened up a successful legal practice in Virginia where his renowned legal skills were in high demand. He served as Secretary of State before being nominated
Life Story: Lucille Lomen
The biography of Lucile Lomen, the first female Supreme Court Law Clerk. A native Alaskan and graduate of The University of Washington Law School, Lucile clerked for Associate Justice William O. Douglas during the 1941-1942 term. She went on to break barriers for women at the Justice Department and General Electric.
Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Court-packing Controversy -Video
In 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his plan to enlarge the Supreme Court to as many as 15 justices. Congress debated the merits of the plan and Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes opposed it. After 168 days the bill failed, but the lessons from the Court-packing episode are relevant today. This 15-minute documentary designed
Case Summary: Fletcher v. Peck
Explore the case that marked the first time the Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional. This formative decision upheld the Commerce Clause and set the precedent that the Contract Clause applied to the states. Ideas included in the decision also shaped Native American property rights for the foreseeable future.