Judicial Activism and Restraint Teacher Resources

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Twelfth graders determine how the Supreme Court has changed over time. In this Judicial Branch lesson, 12th graders watch a video segment about polling and the conduct their own polls of the public's view of judicial activism and judicial restraint. Students collect, interpret, and share their data.
Young scholars investigate the influence of political and societal forces on judicial decisions. Among the topics they examine are the selection of judges and the cause and effect relationship between politics, society, and the law. to conclude, students write essays expressing a decision on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages.
Twelfth graders explore data they collect about judicial restraint and judicial activism. In this public policy lesson, 12th graders use their opinion poll results from a prior lesson to write articles that publish their results.
Twelfth graders explore the functions of the Federal Court System. In this Judicial Branch lesson, 12th graders examine the needs for courts as they discuss justice and rights, read an excerpt from Hamilton's Federalist Papers and complete the provided handout. 
Students study the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. history. They explore current events about the U.S. Constitution and discuss the Marbury v. Madison case from 1803. They identify the term "judicial review" and judicial philosophy.
Students create a series of drawings to show the process of how the Supreme Court does its work. The drawings may be in strip cartoon form or a series of separate illustrations.
Students explore the process of choosing a Supreme Court judge and the impact that a nominee's views can have on the bench. They study the events surrounding each current judges nomination and the effect they had on the court.
Learners research and discuss the case of Brown v. Board of Education by reviewing documents associated with the case.
Relate policy decisions to classroom activities. In order to prepare for a writing activity in which they will need to choose a side, learners are first given a sample policy for which they must choose yes or no and walk to the side of the room with that label. They then write a persuasive essay about television and children. The essay is timed to mimic a testing environment. All materials are included. 
Persuade your pupils to take a stance on a variety of issues. Warm up with an activity that has class members walk to a yes or no sign based on their opinion. They then fill out a graphic organizer with persuasive arguments. After they are done practicing, writers evaluate information about video games, compose persuasive letters, and send final drafts of their letters to government officials. All materials are included. A well-designed and comprehensive lesson.
The New York Times article “Supreme Court, Split 5-4, Halts Florida Count in Blow to Gore” provides the opening to an assessment of the United States Supreme Court decision in the case of the 2000 presidential election. Assuming the persona of a Supreme Court judge, a presidential candidate, or a voter, class members assess the text of the ruling. Extension activities, a resource list, and links are included in this very detailed lesson.
Introduce public policy and persuasive writing with a well-designed activity for junior high learners. The writers develop a stance on whether cities should have natural or green places within a half a mile of all residents. Included are worksheets that aid in class debate, and help focus the students' stance on the issue. The instructional activity also reinforces the core ideas of freedom and American constitutional democracy, and includes a timed writing prompt concerning the effect of home sale prices that are next to parks.  All material is easily modified to suit the needs of the instructor, although the design of this project would enlighten the students on the workings of their town and neighborhood where they live.
Students examine the rule of law and government in this civics lesson. They discover the origins and how it impacts them on a daily basis. They also analyze its role in the judicial system.
Students consider their own personal opinions on divisive issues. They examine the confirmation of Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and investigate issues from different ideological and philosophical perspectives.
Students explore the ruling of the US Supreme Court on the ballot recounting ordered by the Florida State Supreme Court. They work in small groups to research and compare the judicial and electoral processes.
Students examine presidential powers. In this checks and balances lesson, students identify the constitutional and informal restraints of the president and consider the reasons for the limitations.
Students examine the impact of religion on the Cold War. In this Cold War lesson, students analyze speeches delivered by Lenin, Truman, and Graham regarding the role of religion in society. As a culminating activity, students are tested over the material.
How far in the past do the roots of Jim Crow and segregation extend? Your young historians will closely consider this question using detailed PowerPoint slides as a basis for discussion rather than lecture, and culminating in an activity where class members create an exhibit for a museum on segregation.
When, if ever, is the government justified in restricting individual rights? When, if ever, should the "greater good" trump individual rights? To prepare to discuss this hot-button topic, class members examine primary source documents, including Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus, Supreme Court decisions, and Executive Order 9066. After an extended controversial issue discussion of the questions, individuals present their own stance through an argumentative essay supported by evidence drawn from the documents.
Are states prohibited or permitted by the wording of the Constitution to leave the Union? After analyzing the decisions of selected Supreme Court cases and other primary source documents, spark discussion and debate with your class on this fascinating topic.

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