This week marks the start of the Supreme Court’s new term. As always, the cases on the docket are varied and complex. Luckily, The Constitution Project helps provide context and historical background for a number of the issues appearing before the Court over the next several months.
So, why does the Supreme Court matter? While Alexander Hamilton may have called the Judiciary “the least dangerous branch,” it has evolved over the past 200 years into an exceedingly powerful force in our country. To learn more about why the Judiciary and the Supreme Court are important, watch our film, An Independent Judiciary.
A number of upcoming cases are debating issues spelled out in the Bill of Rights. Our film The Bill of Rights gives a general overview of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution and the numerous rights they establish.
The first case the Court heard this term dealt with the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. To learn more about this fundamental right and one of the most important Fourth Amendment cases of the past 60 years, watch our film Mapp v. Ohio.
Several cases on the docket deal with how congressional districts should be determined. Historically, the Court has resisted dictating how state legislatures should be structured, fearing that to do so would infringe on the legislature’s powers and would undermine the Court’s authority. To learn about how the Court overcame this concern, watch our film One Person, One Vote about the landmark Supreme Court cases Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Simms.
As is often the case, the Court is hearing a number of cases concerning minority rights. Our films Yick Wo, An Independent Judiciary, and Jury Selection: Edmonson v. Leesville provide a historical overview of the numerous ways the Supreme Court has protected the rights of racial minorities.