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Supreme Court Week 2012

Street Law, Inc.

Over 40 years of educating about law, democracy, and human rights

Supreme Court Week 2012

October 1st kicks off the new Supreme Court Term and Street Law's Supreme Court Week! To celebrate we've gathered new resources and opened the application period for the 2013 Supreme Court Summer Institute.

Supreme Court Institute: June 2013

Social studies teachers are invited to join Street Law and the Supreme Court Historical Society in Washington, DC, for six days of educational activities related to teaching about the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Institute includes sessions led by Supreme Court experts, journalists, authors, and attorneys, who give teachers an in-depth understanding of how the Court chooses and decides cases, and what it is like to argue before the Court.

Previews of the 2012-2013 Term

Cases we’re watching

  • Fisher v. University of Texas: Does the University of Texas at Austin’s use of race in undergraduate admissions decisions violate the Fourteenth Amendment?  Here’s the Case Made Simple, by SCOTUSblog.
  • Florida v. Jardines and Florida v. Harris: Does it violate the Fourth Amendment for police officers to use drug-sniffing dogs outside a home without a warrant? Is an alert by a drug-sniffing dog enough to establish probable cause for the search of a vehicle? Here’s the Cases Made Simple, by SCOTUSblog.
  • Anticipated case(s) on the Voting Rights Act: Nix v. Holder and Shelby County v. Holder have been appealed to the Court, challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional. The Court may choose to take both, one, or neither of these cases. Here’s the Cases Made Simple, by SCOTUSblog.
  • Anticipated case(s) on same sex marriage: Several petitions for cert have been filed regarding marriage, asking whether the Constitution requires full marriage equality, how far government may go to promote or prevent it, and how national and state governments divide up the power to regulate it. Most important are a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and a challenge to California’s voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. It is widely expected that the Court will take at least one of the DOMA cases, as the federal law was struck down by a lower court and the Supreme Court almost always grants review in that case. Here’s the Cases Made Simple, by SCOTUSblog. 

Resources From Street Law

The 2012 Supreme Court Summer Institute featured several important cases from last term. Street Law’s case study summaries are available for:

Arizona v. U.S. (2012)

Blueford v. Arkansas (2012)

Dept. of Health and Human Services v. Florida - the Health Care case (2012)

Florence v. Burlington (2012)

Miller v. Alabama (2012)

U.S. v. Alvarez (2012)

U.S. v. Jones (2012)

We also have new lesson plans:

Constitutional Interpretation

Congressional Powers: The Commerce Clause

Constitutionality of Health Care Reform: The Affordable Care Act

Additional Resources

  • The Library of Congress has compiled a variety of materials about the Supreme Court from across its collections—both current and historical.
  • Paul Clement gave a speech about the Affordable Care Act case and decision.
  • Steve Wermiel discussed the reasons behind the Supreme Court’s shrinking docket.
  • SOCTUSblog has hosted several symposia on upcoming cases, featuring experts from across the political spectrum.

Learn more

Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers