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Constitutional Issues: Separation of Powers,

National Archives and Records Administration

The National Archives website features a lesson plan about the separation of powers on a federal and state level that revolves around a history of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s court packing during the 1930s. It includes background information on the time period, as well as a primary source document in which a newspaper publisher warns that FDR’s actions may lead to “absolutism and complete dictatorial power.” The website also features a document analysis worksheet and teaching activities.

Our Courts – Build a Curriculum,

Sandra Day O'Connor, Georgetown University and Arizona State University

The Our Courts website is a resource started by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to help students gain more understanding of civics. The curriculum builder includes lesson plans organized both by state (i.e., Virginia) and topic. Although most lesson plans are aimed at grades 5–8, they can be adapted for older students. Games are also under development, which can be played alone or with a classroom group.

U.S. Courts Educational Outreach,

Office of U.S. Courts

This website offers classroom materials on courtroom simulations, contemporary court cases, and other classroom activities. One courtroom simulation involves downloading music and movies, which is particularly relevant to students’ lives. The website also has interactive Double Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be a Million-Dollar Citizen games related to trivia about the judicial branch.

Panel Discusses Judiciary, Judges and Judicial Independence: Video,

Judiciary NOW

This panel discussion at Georgetown Law School highlights the importance of an independent judicial branch. The U.S. constitution legislated a judicial branch that was free from influence by the executive branch and the legislative branch of…

U.S. Supreme Court: Loving v. Virginia,

Chief Justice Warren, U.S. Supreme Court

The Loving v. Virginia case was a landmark in both Virginia history and the Civil Rights movement. At the time of the case, interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia (and many other states). In this document, Chief Justice Earl Warren…