In this chapter students learned about how the Supreme Court
selects, hears, and decides cases; how the Court shapes public
policy; and the forces that influence the Court's decisions.
In this activity students will take a closer look at the inner
workings of the Supreme Court and examine the impact its decisions
have on society today.
Students will visit the official Web site of the United States
Supreme Court to learn more about its formation, traditions,
and procedures. They will then conduct additional research
about a recent Supreme Court case and consider the impact
the decision in the case has had on society.
- Students will be able to describe procedures and various
traditions of the Supreme Court.
- Students will be able to analyze the impact of Supreme
Court decisions on society.
Student Web Activity Answers
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- Justices are appointed by the president and must be approved
by the Senate.
- The Justices wear black robes, are seated according to
seniority on the bench, and most serve for quite long terms.
The use of quill pens, the "Conference handshake," and the
Supreme Court's seal are other traditions.
- During "sittings," the Justices hear cases and deliver
opinions. Each side is allowed 30 minutes to argue its case,
and there is usually neither a jury nor any witnesses. During
"recesses" the Justices write opinions and consider the
business before the Court.
- Few other courts in the world enjoy the same power of
constitutional interpretation as that of the United States,
and none have practiced it for as long or with as much authority.
The determination of the United States to protect and preserve
its written Constitution has made it the oldest written
Constitution still in force.
- Students' reports will vary.