These Lawyer & Judge Resources are provided to enhance your appreciation of the Marshall Court’s decisions, how they apply in cases today, and remain relevant. Lawyers and judges understand the importance of the Marshall Court’s landmark cases and our judicial system. It is important to convey these principles to tomorrow’s citizens to sustain our democracy and the Rule of Law.
Marbury v. Madison, John Marshall’s assertion of the authority of the Supreme Court to review federal, state and constitutional issues, is one of the most important decisions by the United States Supreme Court. While judicial review was not exactly a new concept and was used in English courts and debated in early America, this was the first time it was founded upon a written constitution. In Marbury, Marshall laid the foundations for the judiciary as a co-equal branch of government, judicial independence and the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of the Constitution.
Perhaps you have visited a classroom before but lacked materials that are relevant to what students are studying. Lawyers and judges who have these resources can be sure that they are providing law-related education on pertinent subjects in school visits. Additionally, you can relate the materials to your own experiences that will help teachers highlight the legal profession, explain the judicial systems, and underscore the importance of the Rule of Law. Participating lawyers and judges will be able to engage students in meaningful discussions of contemporary cases, situations and their relationship to Marshall-era decisions.
Too often students will ask “Why do we need to know this?” and we, often, struggle to answer. However, when students are connected to real-world situations and issues, it is easier to answer “why?” Start by showing this short video of a nurse protecting a citizen’s rights and upholding the rule of law and help the students understand WHY it is important for them to stand up for the rule of law and to know their rights.
Taking “real-life law” into the classroom is fun! These materials feature cases that interest students and employ techniques that involve them in active learning. It gives lawyers and judges an opportunity to discuss cases and situations as up-to-the minute as they wish and to model a civil dialogue in class about how our founding principles apply today. The United States and the Rule of Law as understood in this country would be very different if not for the Marshall Court’s decisions on judicial review, implied powers, federal power over interstate commercial activity and the Contract Clause.
Does the mob rule? Do police set the standards for the Rule of Law? These are questions that can be explored with the resources below on Michael Brown and the Ferguson case, or from your individual experience. This is your opportunity as a judge or lawyer to use your experience to discuss a citizen’s rights and responsibilities under the Rule of Law.