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Spring SCOTUS in the Classroom Case: National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra

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Spring SCOTUS in the Classroom Case: National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra

Note: This case was decided by the US Supreme Court on June 26, 2018.

It’s a busy winter and spring at the U.S. Supreme Court! Street Law is pleased to bring you the final SCOTUS in the Classroom case for the 2017-18 school year: National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. We encourage teachers to feature, and even moot, this case as it’s being argued at the Court on March 20, 2018.

This is a case from California about a state law that requires crisis pregnancy centers to post information about state programs that offer free or low-cost contraceptives and abortion. The crisis pregnancy centers, which counsel pregnant women against choosing abortion, do not want to post notices about state programs offering those services. The centers have filed a lawsuit, arguing that the law violates the First Amendment because it is compelling them to express ideas they disagree with. The state argues that the notices are simply factual statements that make patients aware of the available options, much like required disclosures about side effects of medical treatments. The state argues that crisis pregnancy centers have, in the past, provided misleading information to women, and that these notices will help correct that problem.

This case brings in several precedent cases about free speech and compelled speech and raises interesting issues to explore with students. It is sure to generate media interest and is likely to be decided by the end of June.  

Street Law has posted case materials on the SCOTUS in the Classroom program page. Teachers and students are encouraged to hold moot courts of the case the same week that the Supreme Court hears arguments, which means students can follow discussion and analysis in the news and listen to or read a transcript of the actual oral arguments at the Court. The SCOTUS in the Classroom section of our site includes instructions and handouts for conducting a moot court.


 About SCOTUS in the Classroom: Each year, Street Law selects a few of the most classroom-relevant, student-friendly cases being argued in the U.S. Supreme Court and provides teachers with everything they need to conduct moot courts of each. Past cases are always available on our website!

Learn more

Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers

High School Law Course

SCOTUS in the Classroom

Teaching for Civic Engagement


Jimmy Ratcliff

Most folks think law is above them and they have no idea what a United States Code of law is or a United States Code of Regulations is. And they have no idea on the regulatory side, that there a Federal Register, and that they have the ability to Comment on Proposed rules in the Federal Register by 5 USC 553 (c), or that they may make their own Petitions to Federal Agencies per the 1st Amendment and 5 USC 553 (e). But of course politicians, the media, and many schools don't want them to know. This is just basic library stuff, that should be taught first, it is basic civics and it is not higher that a High School Subject, but most Americans and most High School Government Teachers, know nothing of it. And I think that is by design, right out of Washington D.C. 5 USC, out of the APA act of 1946 is my meaning, along with the Federal Register ACT of 1933. I get the Federal Register by email every production day. Spread this around!

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