How the Courts Address or Respect Our Rights as Citizens

Read/review the following resources for this activity:

  • Textbook: Chapter 11, 12
  • Lesson
  • Minimum of 2 scholarly sources in addition to the textbook.

Instructions

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This assignment is comprised of 2 parts, the first of which is due this week. Part II will be due in Week 7.

In Part I this week, choose a case from your state that involves civil rights or civil liberties that wound its way up to the United States Supreme Court. If your state does not have a case that ended up in the United States Supreme Court, choose a civil rights case from another state that ended up in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Here is a brief description of civil rights and civil liberties: Civil rights refers to equal social opportunities under the law. It gives you these freedoms such as the right to vote, the right to public education, or a fair trial, among other things, regardless of your wealth or race. Civil liberties mean freedom of religion, equal treatment and due process under the law, and the right to privacy.

You should be able to go online and look up your state and famous cases that ended up in the Supreme Court. For example, Brown v Board of Education (1951) started in Topeka, Kansas and ended up in the Supreme Court of the United States. Another example would be Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v Steve Sisolak, Governor of Nevada (2020) that started in Nevada and ended up the United States Supreme Court.

Research your court case and write an outline of the case that you will be using to prepare a presentation, which will either be a narrated PowerPoint, a Kaltura Video, or some other format as approved by your instructor. Be sure to verify the presentation format with your instructor before starting work on this assignment.

This week’s assignment should include (a) summary of the case; (b) a case outline; and a summary.

  1. Summary of the Case

In one or two paragraphs, provide a general overview of the case that serves as a snapshot of what the case is about and how it ended up in your state high court. A summary is using your words to write a brief history of the case. Do not give your opinion or your interpretation but stick to the facts only.

B: Case Outline

Your court case outline should include:

  1. Title: Name of the case
  2. Facts of the case: Provide key facts involving the case.
  3. History of the case: What legal action was taken based on what your state laws say about this case?
  4. Legal questions: What were the legal issues the court had to decide?
  5. Decision or holdings: Did the court decide for the plaintiff or the defendant? Explain the reason behind the decision?
  6. Verdict and opinion (judgement): What were the concurring and dissenting opinions? How many judges decided for the defendant and how many justices decided against the defendant? What was the final verdict from the judge or the jury, if it was a jury trial?
  1. Conclusion

What was the resulting impact of the ruling? How did the citizens of your state benefit from it? Was this a good decision?

Writing Requirements (APA format)

  • The length of your outline will vary. Usually an outline is anywhere from 1-3 pages long. Make sure to write full sentences to explain your case. It is a concise list to be used as a reference for you during the presentation.

Using the outline, you will be describing the court case in your presentation and the scenario around the court case. The use of Wikipedia as a primary source of information is to be avoided – it is not a reliable source of information.

Search for an example of a case outline in the Internet. Without going into much detail at this state, each of the items listed above has a subject sentence with 3-6 bullet points that can help you expand on the topic.

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