This unit will be covering the Legal System and Supreme Court Cases- different levels of the court system, how a trial court works, and major Supreme Court cases that affect us today.
Students will understand the history, structure, purpose, and operations of the United States legal system and demonstrate its role as a societal safeguard of individual rights and liberties as well as analyze the impact of the legal system on society, government, and the American political process.
Unit Essential Questions:
- What are the history, structure, purpose, and operations of the United States legal system?
- How does the legal system demonstrate its role as a societal safeguard of individual rights and liberties?
- How does the legal system impact society, government, and the American political system?
We will be covering five Florida State Standards this unit. They have been broken down into smaller categories and clarifications that we will be studying:
- SS.7.C.3.10: Identify sources and types (civil, criminal, constitutional, military) of law.
- Students will use examples of historical law codes to identify how laws originated and developed in Western society.
- Students will recognize constitutional, statutory, case, and common law as sources of law.
- Students will compare civil, criminal, constitutional, and/or military law.
- SS.7.C.3.11: Diagram the levels, functions, and powers of courts at the state and federal levels/SS.7.C.2.6: Simulate the trial process and the role of juries in the administration of justice.
- Students will distinguish between the levels, functions, and powers of courts at the state and federal levels.
- Students will recognize that the powers and jurisdiction of the state and federal courts are derived from their respective constitutions.
- Students will compare appellate and trial processes.
- Students will examine the significance of the role of juries in the American legal system.
- SS.7.C.2.5: Distinguish how the Constitution safeguards and limits individual rights.
- Students will recognize that rights are protected, but not unlimited
- Students will examine rationales for limited individual rights.
- Students will use scenarios to examine the impact of limits on individual rights on social behavior.
- Students will examine the role of the judicial branch of government in protecting individual rights.
- SS.7.C.3.12: Analyze the significance and outcomes of landmark Supreme Court cases including, but not limited to, Marbury v. Madison, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Gideon v. Wainwright, Miranda v. Arizona, in re Gault, Tinker v. Des Moines, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, United States v. Nixon, and Bush v. Gore.
- Students will use primary sources to assess the significance of these U.S. Supreme Court cases.
- Students will evaluate how these U.S. Supreme Court cases have had an impact on society.
Students will recognize and/or apply constitutional principles and/or rights in relation to the relevant U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Lesson Essential Questions:
- How does the U.S. Constitution safeguard and limit individual rights?
- What are the sources and types of law?
- How are courts organized and structured at the federal and state levels?
- What is the trial process and what is the role of a jury?
- What are the outcomes of select landmark Supreme Court cases?
- Why are these cases significant?