I would buy used!



Hope all of you guys are having a wonderful summer! I have been traveling the entire month of June and have only been home for four days so I am sorry for the delay in responding to those few of you who texted me. Even though I have been traveling (still am...currently in Iowa) I have been monitoring the incredible changes to our our current social order which have been handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). I am sure that many of you have mixed opinions on these changes and we will have ample opportunity to discuss these when I see you in August. I don’t think I have ever been so excited about a new school year because these Court rulings will have a profound impact on our classroom discussions and activities.

I have always required my AP students to actively monitor the news media and with the current activism with this SCOTUS there will massive amounts of information out there as every organization and “rights’ group will be chiming in with their views on the issues. SCOTUS has handed down landmark rulings regarding gay marriage, Obamacare, lethal injection and environmental impact issues. These are not the only issues, just four of the most significant of this year’s summer session which closes this week. I always wait until the end of the session to see what issues will close before I write the summer assignment, as I explained in our meetings at the end of school. There are  a few things I want you keep in mind:

  1. This is only PART ONE of our SCOTUS study. It will continue throughout the entire school year. The summer work and postings are only the warm-up introduction to how the Court works and the public’s response to their work.

     2. You need to follow my instructions exactly as they are written so we can hit the ground

          running in August. Please post ALL of your work into Google Classroom (instructions are

         in the assignment (VERY IMPORTANT). I will not check any work until after you return to

         school so you have a month (+) to get this completed.

    3. I am fine with any phone calls or texts ( 678-525-1282) if you do not understand any part of

        what I am asking you to do.

        You are also free to work together...just make sure all of you work is individually


         ZEROS. Of course some of you will end up selecting some of the same articles which

         is inevitable, but do not share your responses with each other. NO GROUP RESPONSES.

 4.   Please remember this is an open forum so please feel free to express your opinion freely..

       Just know I will be holding you accountable for the basis of your your research!

THIS ENTIRE ASSIGNMENT SHOULD NOT TAKE YOU MORE THAN 3 OR FOUR HOURS  total but please note that the last section should be spread out over two or three weeks of reading the news. In other words, I want you to see how the response to the cases play out in the media over the next couple of weeks.

That being said, the assignment steps are listed on the next pages.

                    AP SUMMER SCOTUS ACTIVITY 2016

STEP ONE-- Classroom setup

Go into Google Classroom using this link:

Join the class using class code   sqiuu2b

Join the class and submit your work there.   


In order to prepare you to discuss the Court, please use the web to complete the following questions:

  1. There are nine Justices on the Supreme Court. They are fairly evenly divided between liberal progressives and conservative traditionalists with one justice being considered as the “swing” vote on large cases. Read  a bit about each of them and compile a very brief autobiographical sketch of each of the nine. You can put this into 9 paragraphs---no more than one VERY short paragraph on each. Be sure to include when they came onto the Court, which President nominated them, and their political sway  and viewpoints. Be sure to point out the significance of the one “swing vote” Justice. If you Google Supreme Court Justices you can find this very quickly. BE VERY BRIEF, don’t need to write a lot.

 2. We know that Supreme Court Justices serve for life. This is the

     one institution within our government that is considered to

     “INSULATED” from public opinion. What rules regarding the Court

       help ensure that it remains insulated?

3. What is the length of a Supreme Court session? About  how many

   cases are appealed to the Court each session and about how many    

   does it actually hear on average? (percentage)


Using,   or any news agency or magazine webpage..cnn, fox, msnbc, etc., complete the following:

1. Locate each of the four cases I pointed out earlier---Gay Marriage,

   Lethal Injection, Obamacare (make sure you get the one from this term...if is the second Court ruling on Obamacare) and the EPA case.     

   There are more cases than these that have been decided this term. I

   only chose these for their controversial content plus they are easier

   to understand without massive background research. I will deal

   many other cases this year in class. For each of the four cases I

 listed above I want you to complete two things:

  1. List the FORMAL name of the case and give a BRIEF background on the case. What is the argument ? Why is this controversial? Which groups will benefit or be harmed by the outcome?

  2. Explain the outcome of the case. What Constitutional grounds or amendments were used to decided the outcome?


I am fully aware that the most controversial case of the four you have been researching is the one regarding gay marriage. I also know that you will enjoy responding to this one more than the others due to the high interest level and the immediate public response. Everyone has an opinion on this and these opinions are blasted across the pages of every single social media outlet out there...Instagram, Twitter, FB, Reddit, Independent bloggers, etc. You may have posted things yourself. I have chosen not to because I recognize my own biases and know the reasons behind them. That is what I am going to ask you to do in this final step. Beginning July 1st, I am going to ask you to read everything you can get your hands on...blogs, posts, media reports, magazines, etc. I am NOT going to ask you to summarize EVERYTHING you read but I would like you to do the two things I have listed below:

  1. Select THREE very significant articles that you feel have “opened your eyes” to some angle of this argument that you did not already know or have never considered. I read one of those myself this morning that a pastor had written that really made me think. Please do not choose some article because you agree with its author. Choose three that really forced you to look at some new angle on the issue . Not that you have changed your mind (THAT IS NOT THE POINT OF THIS ASSIGNMENT), but you thought the writer made a valid point in his argument. This could even include articles about the challenges churches and businesses now face when trying to protect their own religious expression rights. Maybe you will want to tackle the adoption/child rearing articles that are being written. Remember, the point is to choose something that made you think about a new angle of the topic. It is VERY easy to locate articles that you agree with wholeheartedly or that support the things you already know. This is more difficult.

  2. In MLA format, cite each article and write up a brief summary and

      response to each. This should include one summary paragraph

  followed by an opinionated response paragraph.

 For this section you will end up with 6 total paragraphs...2 per article. The first day of school you will have an in-class assignment directly connected to this activity. If you have not completed this section you will not be able to participate nor make up the work.


Remember to LABEL Steps 2-4  and post everything in Google Classroom. If you struggle with any step feel free to text or call.


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