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Supreme Court Roundup Activity

  • Please follow the links provided under the title of your assigned case to complete the following activities.
  • Your time in the library should be used to gather answers to the Data questions. Please note, there is a specific, additional data question for each group listed under the case’s title. This specific question will focus on the constitution.
  • Back in class, you will complete the discussion questions with your group and be expected to lead the same discussion with peers who studied a different case. 

 

Data Questions:

For Each case, the following data should be gathered:

  1. List at least 5 and up to 10 other facts about the case from the “Facts of the Case” excerpt on the informational webpage. Describe the basic question the court is considering in this case. Describe the answer to this question as presented in the majority opinion of the justices.  Identify the date the case was heard, and which side prevailed.  Identify the petitioner and respondent, and the attorneys representing them.
  2. Identify the general arguments. For each side, list several facts/points that attorneys were trying to make.
  3. Identify some questions posed by the justices to these arguments as well as some points that the justices made while these arguments were underway.

 

  • Florida v Jardines

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2012/11-564

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/florida-v-jardines/

 

Data Question: View the US Constitution and summarize the Fourth Amendment in your own words

  1. Discussion:
    1. How does the Fourth Amendment protect citizens?
    2. Do you think someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy with regards to “smells” emitting from their home?
    3. How do you believe the court should rule? What is your constitutional reasoning?

 

  • Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

 http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2012/2012_11_345 

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/fisher-v-university-of-texas-at-austin/

 

Data Question:  View the US Constitution and summarize the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause (Section 1)

 II: Discussion:

  1. What does the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment ensure?

Does the goal of racial diversity justify the use of racial preferences in college applications?

  1. How do you believe the court should rule? What is your reasoning?

 

  • United States v. Windsor

http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2012/2012_12_307

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/windsor-v-united-states-2/

Data Question: View the US Constitution and summarize the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause (Section 1)

Discussion:

  1. If one state’s law recognizes same-sex marriage, should other states have to honor those marriage contracts?
  2. The executive branch has agreed with a lower court that DOMA is unconstitutional. Why do you think they agree with this assessment?  Does this assessment inappropriately intrude on separation of powers?
  3. How do you believe the court should rule? What is your constitutional reasoning?

 

  • Snyder v Phelps 

http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2010/2010_09_751

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/snyder-v-phelps/

Data Question: View the US Constitution and summarize the 1st Amendment in your own words

Discussion:

  1. Should “distasteful and repugnant” speech be protected in the United States?
  2. Despite your feelings about the Westboro Baptist Church, do you feel the court made the right decision? Why or Why not?  Does your opinion match the constitutional reasoning connected with this case?

 

  • Clapper v. Amnesty International USA

 http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2012/2012_11_1025  

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/clapper-v-amnesty-international-usa/

Data Question: View the US Constitution and summarize the 4th Amendment in your own words

  1. Discussion:
  2. Should the Fourth Amendment apply to electronic messages in the same manner it applies to letters?
  3. Can you have the right to bring a case before a court if you can’t prove that you specifically were the one being monitored by a covert government program?
  4. How do you believe the court should rule? What is your reasoning?
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