In this activity students will analyze documents that span the course of American history to see examples of "checks and balances" between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in action. Students will then match the documents they have examined with an appropriate description of the branches of government involved in the action.
Article 3 Judicial Branch
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
For many students, a trip to Washington, D.C. is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that opens their eyes to an exciting world beyond their classrooms. Discovery Education and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden welcome students to a behind-the-scenes Virtual Field Trip to experience the history and beauty of our nation’s capital.
Designed for students in grades 4-8, this action-packed tour features remarkable special guests and give viewers an inside look at six landmark locations:
The White House
The U.S. Capitol Building
The Supreme Court
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
This document is an order to show cause in the Marbury v. Madison Supreme Court case. An order to show cause explains that a defendant is expected to appear before the judge and defend his or her actions. The document shows damage from the 1898 fire in the Capitol Building.
On May 17, 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (five separate cases consolidated under a single name), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that separate but equal public schools violated the 14th Amendment.
In this ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that slaves were not citizens of the United States and, therefore, could not expect any protection from the Federal Government or the courts. The opinion also stated that Congress had no authority to ban slavery from a Federal territory.
In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Arizona and charged with kidnapping, robbery, and rape. When questioned by police, Miranda confessed. He was tried and convicted based on his confession. Miranda appealed his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 1966 that statements made by the accused may not be admitted in court without procedural safeguards. Page 31 from the decision describes two of those safeguards—the accused’s right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning. Selected pages are shown.