Gideon v Wainwright Turned 50!

ImageStudents remember the case well. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor referenced it in the previous Supreme Court welcome video (Part 1 and Part 2) when she talked about a “prisoner writing his petition in his own hand.”  Gideon v Wainwright turned 50 on March 18. How fun to see a piece from CBS Sunday Morning and NPR on the case as well as where the issue of representation for the poor is today. There is also a new podcast from the US Courts and this great interactive site from the Missouri Bar. I wish I were teaching government this semester!

Spending the Friday Five at the Supreme Court

Today’s Friday Five is brought to you by  Justice David Souter’s announcement of  retirement and my general interest in the Supreme Court. Recognizing that we have only had 110 Supreme Court Justices, it is quite an elite group. The following five resources are useful in teaching about the Court.

1.  This TIME for Kids website was designed for Justice Alito’s confirmation, it includes small biographies of recent justices, a look at Landmark Cases, some Supreme Court basics, and a quiz over the content.

2. An outstanding resource for Landmark Cases comes from Street Law and the Supreme Court Historical Society: This collection of readings (3 different reading levels) and activities surrounding each case is a great resource for a wide age range. (If you are an educator and would like the link to the answer site for, please send me an email!)

3. A 2-for-1!  SCOTUS Blog and SCOTUS Wiki are a pair of related sites which do a tremendous job watching the current Court. Contributors publish statistics on the actions of the Justices, update on daily news from the Court, give excellent reports on specific cases and decisions, a great pair of current resources.

4.  PBS created a wonderful resource to support its Supreme Court series. With an interactive history of the Court, there is also a great educators site with lesson plans, a day in the life, a memory game (can be tricky), and other supportive links,  definitely a rich resource on the Court.

5. The National Constitution Center has an interactive Constitution which is searchable by Supreme Court case, a different approach than some for studying the way the Supreme Court works with the Constitution.

Happy Friday!