Impacts of Supreme Court Decisions Is the death penalty an expression of justice or cruel and unusual punishment? Is abortion part of a woman’s right to privacy or the taking of innocent life? Should employers take “affirmative action” to compensate for a past history of discrimination, or should they make every decision on a purely “color-blind” basis? The Supreme Court is regularly called upon to answer these controversial questions in American life, and its decisions have an extraordinary impact on people and communities. In this Application, you will focus on two major Supreme Court cases and illustrate how the Supreme Court’s decisions have impacted American life. You will also analyze why the Supreme Court has a continuing influence on the rights and freedoms that you find important today. Questions about this assignment? Post them in the Contact the Instructor area. That way, everyone in the class will see, and benefit from, the Instructor’s response. To prepare for this Application: Review the assigned chapters and websites in the Learning Resources. Choose two Supreme Court cases from the last decade that are of interest to you. Consider what was happening in American society at the time of each decision. Consider how the Supreme Court justices influence the interpretation of the Constitution. How might these interpretations affect current American society? What are the positive and negative impacts? The assignment: Write a 2-page analysis of two landmark Supreme Court interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and its amendments, including an explanation of how these interpretations impact current American society. Be sure to: Briefly describe the Supreme Court case milestones. Answer the following: Who was the Chief Justice on the Supreme Court at the time of the case milestone? Answer the following: Who was the presiding president at the time of the Supreme Court’s decision? Describe the key issue at the heart of the decision in the case milestone. Present examples of how the decision in the case milestone currently impacts American society.
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