Margaret Fussell's main lesson page about the Supreme Court. This part of my unit of study about the Judicial system. My lesson is designed by gifted and talented fifth graders.


The Judicial Branch is Supreme

The Three Branches of Government

The federal government is divided into three branches, executive, legislative, and judicial. The Legislative branch makes the laws. the executive branch enforces the laws and the judicial branch explains  the laws.

The Judicial Branch

The US Constitution established the federal court system in Article III. Its job is to interpret the law.  It is part of a system of checks and balances, it settles the differences between the meaning of the laws and how the laws is carried out.  Judicial Review is the court's authority to decide the meaning of laws, how they are applied and whether a law breaks the rules of the Constitution.  If a law breaks the rules, it is ruled unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is empowered with the judicial powers of the government, making them the highest court in the country. 
The United States Supreme Court is made up of nine Justices.  The head of the Supreme Court is called the Chief Justice.  Current William Rehnquist is the Chief.  The job is for life.  The Justices are appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. To learn more go to encarta.

Some famous Cases that the Supreme Court have ruled on have changed society. To read more about the cases and others go to this site.
Gideon v Wainwright
Brown v Board of Education
Marbury v Madison
McCulloch v Maryland
Pleassy v Ferguson
United States v Nixon

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