Since its beginnings, America has struggled with the principle of equality for all people. From slaves and immigrants to women and the LGBTQ community and to the elderly and disabled, the battle against discrimination in the workplace, schools and voting booths has been long and painful.
The 14th Amendment granted U.S. citizenship to former slaves and contained three new limits on state power: a state shall not violate a citizen’s privileges or immunities; shall not deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; and must guarantee all persons equal protection of the laws.
In this lesson, students analyze the interplay of processes and procedures that courts use to seat an impartial jury and gain appreciation for the essential role of juries in the justice system. They also explore the responsibilities and limits placed on government by the Constitution in the context of civil and criminal trials.
This guide for K-12 educators provides four types of activity suggestions and related resources for your upper elementary, middle or high school students: class starters; in-depth classroom activities; projects/performances for assessment; and culmination activities.
In this lesson, students learn about the process used for jury selection and how the role and responsibilities of government in civil and criminal jury trials are viewed by the Supreme Court. They also reflect on the democratic values, principles, and dispositions of character working behind the scenes.
Through the lesson, students gain insight into decision-making at the Supreme Court, learn about the people behind the case, construct a persuasive argument, and evaluate the significance of Brown v. Board of Education.
This lesson tells the law-changing story behind the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Students gain insight into law-making process and consider how statutory decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court can prompt better laws.
Incorporating three integral constitutional tenets – due process, equal protection, and privileges and immunities – the 14th Amendment was originally intended to secure rights for former slaves, but over the years, it has been expanded to protect all people. Justice Ginsburg discusses with students its importance.
This documentary explores the landmark case Korematsu v. U.S. (1944) concerning the constitutionality of presidential executive order 9066 during World War II that gave the U.S. military the power to ban thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry from areas considered important to national security.
This documentary tells how an African American construction worker’s personal-injury lawsuit against his employer evolved into a landmark jury selection case Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co. on the Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government sent people of Japanese ancestry to internment camps. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the government’s right to restrict the liberty of these citizens and noncitizens in two cases: Korematsu v. U.S. and Hirabayashi v. U.S.
This documentary tells the story of Lilly Ledbetter and her U.S. Supreme Court case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.. Ledbetter’s fight for equal pay for equal work eventually involved all three branches of government and resulted in the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
Justice Breyer and a group of high school students discuss separation of powers in connection with pay discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. that resulted in a 2009 law called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Slavery is the ultimate form of discrimination, and racial slavery had been part of the American landscape since the mid-seventeenth century. By the time of the Revolution, holding human beings as property was allowed in all thirteen states.
Supreme Court Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy discuss with high school students the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education that ended racial segregation in schools.
This documentary examines the case Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886) in which the Supreme Court held that noncitizens have due process rights under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. The Court said that unequal application of a law violated the rights of a Chinese immigrant.
“All men are created equal.” This phrase has stirred hearts around the world for more than 200 years. It is one of the values most associated with the United States, but nowhere is the language of equality among individuals found in the Constitution.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the organization, founded in 1920, is the “nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”