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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.

Virginia Courts in Brief,

Virginia Court System

Virginia Courts in Brief offers a one page overview of Virginia’s judicial structure. The website profiles levels of the court from magistrates to the state Supreme Court, providing explanations about what each level of the judicial system does. Find out the difference between a civil action and a criminal case, what the Clerks' Office does, and how many judges are in Virginia.

The ReDistricting Game,

USC Annenburg Foundation

The ReDistricting Game teaches students about the challenges and potential of redistricting, as well as the problem of gerrymandering. The website features five different games: Fundamentals, Partisan Gerrymander, Bipartisan Gerrymander, Voting Rights Act, and Reform. Each game has both a basic and advanced level, as well as links to further information. The game can serve as the foundation for a classroom discussion on gerrymandering in Virginia, or a fun independent learning session for anyone who wants to know more about the difficulties of gerrymandering.

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.

How the founders differed from the English Bill of Rights,

iCitizenProject

Michael Barone is a journalist, political analyst, and senior writer for U.S. News & World Report. He also serves as a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. In this video, he discusses how the U.S. founders' ideologies differed from…

Impartial Judiciary, Speech by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.: Video,

Judiciary NOW

In a speech before the American Law Institute, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts, Jr. discusses the importance of an impartial judiciary. An impartial judiciary is both independent from other branches of government and unswayed by…

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…

Naturalization Ceremony at Arlington Cemetery Video,

Judiciary NOW

This government video shows what happens at a naturalization ceremony by interviewing public officials, new citizens, and their family and friends. The ceremony portrayed in this video is unsual in some ways, because it took place in historic of…