The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 9: The Jefferson Era

Student Web Activity

"History of the Supreme Court"

In this chapter you learned about events from the bitterly contested election of 1800 through the War of 1812. It was a period of growth for the young nation. One institution that was growing along with the country was the United States Supreme Court. Established by Article III of the Constitution, the Supreme Court established its influence through a series of important early decisions. In this activity you will read about some of the practices and traditions of the Court and review the Court's justices.

Destination Title: Supreme Court of the United States

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
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Start at the Supreme Court Web site.

  • Click on About the Supreme Court.
  • Click on The Court and Its Traditions. Read the information presented.
  • Click the "Back" arrow.
  • Click on and read about Members of the Supreme Court (1789 to Present).

After you have read the entries, answer the following questions.

Who sits in the center chair of the Supreme Court bench?
How long have the justices worn black robes?
Why do the justices shake hands with one another when they assemble to go to the bench and at the beginning of private conferences?
Which president has appointed the most associate justices to the Supreme Court? How many did he appoint?
Create another tradition or symbol for the Supreme Court. Draw the symbol or write a description of the new tradition. How does your new tradition or symbol fit the purpose and goals of the court?
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