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Supreme Court Round-Up 2014-2015

Supreme Court Round-Up 2014-2015

Have students choose three Supreme Court cases from the list below. For each case, they should research and report the following information:

  • When was the case argued?
  • What was the question argued in the case?
  • When was the case decided
  • What was the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the case?
  • Which Supreme Court Justice wrote the majority or unanimous opinion? Which justice wrote the dissenting opinion, if any? Which justice wrote the concurring opinion, if any?
  • Do you agree with the Court’s decision? Explain you answer.
  • List of cases:
    • Zivtofsky v. Kerry
    • Elonis v. United States
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores
    • Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar
    • Young v. United Parcel Service
    • Holt v. Hobbs

Several major cases are yet to be ruled upon this term. Have your students research the following cases. Use the discussion questions and their findings to analyze the cases and discuss how you and your students believe the court should rule under the Constitution.

  • King v. Burwell – Did the Internal Revenue Service permissibly create a regulation that extended the tax credits the Affordable Care Act authorized to federal exchanges as well as those created by the states?
    • OyezKing v. Burwell
    • SCOTUSblogKing v. Burwell
      • What issues of federalism are at play in this case?
      • What questions concerning the separation of powers doctrine are present in the case?
      • What will be the impact of a ruling for or against the tax subsidies? How will this affect the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?
      • How do you think the court will rule in this case? What is your constitutional reasoning?
  • Obergefell v. Hodges – 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?
    • SCOTUSblogObergefell v. Hodges
    • OyezObergefell v. Hodges
      • What parts of the Fourteenth Amendment are involved in this case?
      • What issues of federalism are at play in this case?
      • How do you think the Court will rule in this case? What is your constitutional reasoning?
      • What do you think the impact of this ruling will be?
  • Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona – Does an ordinance restricting the size, number, duration, and location of temporary directional signs violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
    • OyezReed et. al. v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona
    • SCOTUSblogReed et. al. v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona
      • What free speech issues are involved in this case?
      • Should there be reasonable limits to what is considered free speech? Why or why not?
      • How do you think the court will rule in this case? What is your constitutional reasoning?
      • What do you think the impact of this ruling will be?Reed v. Town of Gilbert Arizona – Does an ordinance restricting the size, number, duration, and location of temporary directional signs violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
  • Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans – 1. Do specialty license plates constitute government speech that is immune from any requirement of viewpoint neutrality? 2. Does preventing the confederate flag from appearing on license plates constitute viewpoint discrimination?
    • Oyez Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
      • What free speech issues are involved in this case?
      • Should license plates be considered government speech?
      • How do you think the court will rule in this case? What is your constitutional reasoning?
      • What do you think the impact of this ruling will be?