A History of the Supreme Court Timeline

A History of the Supreme Court Timeline
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Judicial Branch Lesson Plan

Introduction to the Judicial Branch

Lesson Plans by Matt Campbell

The Judicial Branch is one of three branches of government in the United States, and exists to judge the laws created and enforced by the other two branches. With activities in this lesson plan, students will develop an understanding for the purpose and responsibilities of the Judicial Branch of the United States Government.




Judicial Branch

Storyboard Description

A History of the Supreme Court Timeline

Storyboard Text

  • The Supreme Court is Created
  • Article IIIUnited States ConstitutionThe Judicial Branch
  • The History of the Supreme Court
  • In 1787, the United States Constitution was signed. The Constitution created Article III, which created the entire Judicial Branch.
  • Fletcher vs. Peck
  • The Supreme Court rules that your Georgia state law is unconstitutional!
  • (sigh)... OK!
  • In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled against the Georgia state law regarding a land sale. This was the first time the Supreme Court struck down a state law.
  • Plessy vs. Ferguson
  • Whites Only
  • Blacks Only
  • One of the most infamous decisions in Supreme Court history was during the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson. The Court ruled that despite the abolishment of slavery, it was legal to have separate facilities for blacks and whites.
  • Supreme Court Building Established
  • Gideon vs. Wainwright
  • You are under arrest... If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you.
  • In 1935, the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. was opened. This building has become a global landmark for both its architecture and immensely significant legal decisions.
  • Sandra Day O'Connor Appointed to Supreme Court
  • In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled in Gideon vs. Wainwright that states are required to provide legal counsel for all defendants, even if they are unable to pay for one.
  • In 1981, the United States Senate ruled 99-0 in favor of appointing Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court. O'Connor was the first female Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history.
  • Texas vs. Johnson
  • In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled in the highly controversial case that the burning of the American flag is protected under the First Amendment's freedom of speech clause.
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