Objective(s): As a result of this lesson, students will:
History-Social Science Content Standards:
11.10 Students analyze the development of federal civil rights and voting rights.
2. Examine and analyze the key events, policies, and court cases in the evolution of civil rights, including Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, and California Proposition 209.
12.5 Students summarize landmark U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution and its amendments.
1. Understand the changing interpretations of the Bill of Rights over time, including interpretations of the basic freedoms (religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly) articulated in the First Amendment and the due process and equal-protection-of-the-law clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
2. Analyze judicial activism and judicial restraint and the effects of each policy over the decades (e.g., the Warren and Rehnquist courts).
4. Explain the controversies that have resulted over changing interpretations of civil rights, including those in Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, and United States v. Virginia (VMI).
Historical and Social Science Analysis Skills
Research, Evidence, and Point of View
1. Students distinguish valid arguments from fallacious arguments in historical interpretations.
2. Students identify bias and prejudice in historical interpretations.
4. Students construct and test hypotheses; collect, evaluate, and employ information from multiple primary and secondary sources; and apply it in oral and written presentations.
1. Students show the connections, causal and otherwise, between particular historical events and larger social, economic, and political trends and developments.
3. Students interpret past events and issues within the context in which an event unfolded rather than solely in terms of present-day norms and values.
Time Requirements: Four-five days. Some out-of-class research may be required.
Preparing the Class:
Read and discuss the examples in the section of We the People: Citizen and the Constitution (Center for Civic Education) that applies to the concept of judicial review. (Lesson 21, pp. 107-112)
Define and discuss the differences between trial courts and appellate courts. It needs to be made clear that appellate courts do not hold trials; they hear oral arguments from attorneys, study briefs or written arguments that attorneys submit, and review the record of the case in lower court. The appellate court does not concern itself with the facts in a case. Rather, its decision turns on whether the law was correctly interpreted and applied.
Before students begin their Moot Court research, provide some background to the events of the 1960's which served as a context for the Warren Court. Use the Background sheet, a film, the textbook or some other source.
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