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Introduction to the Judicial Branch

Posted Eureka Lessons American Government, Lessons

California Content Standard(s): 12.4.5, 12.4.6, 12.5.2 , and 12.5.3

The following resources are included in the "Introduction to the Judicial Branch":

1. Power Point and Cloze Notes: "Introduction to the Judicial Branch"

  • Students discuss the importance of Marbury v Madison to the establishment of judicial review, Article III of the Constitution as it relates to the judicial power of the Supreme Court, length of terms, and selection of the justices
  • Students learn about the inferior courts, jurisdiction, and how a case even reaches the Supreme Court (i.e. "Rule of Four", writ of certiorari, etc.),
  • Students are introduced to the legal jargon, such as precedent, majority, concurring, and dissenting opinion
  • Students understand the differences between judicial restraint and judicial activism (see Colbert Report's "Original Spin" clip below)
  • Students are introduced to our Supreme Court justices

2. Spotlight on Rehnquist and Warren Courts (PBS.org) 

  • Students read and discuss the significance of the Rehnquist and Warren courts

3. Justicebook- Who Wants to be a Supreme Court Justice?

  • Students select any one of the nine Supreme Court Justices and research his or her career to create a Justicebook profile page
  • From those Justicebook profiles, the teacher will select nine of the best ones to serve in the classroom's Supreme Court
  • Students selected to be justices will earn special seats in the classroom to hear cases (see Civil Rights Cases and Freedom of Expression Cases and Arizona v. U.S. ) and issue opinions and dissents

Introduction to the Judicial Branch