Carved in marble over the entrance of the Supreme Court building in



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180
CHAPTER 7
Carved in marble over the entrance of the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, is the motto Equal Justice under Law What does this motto mean to you It means that you and all other citizens are considered equal and are protected by the rule of law. Laws define individual rights and freedoms. But where does your freedom end and another person’s freedom begin The judicial branch of the government—the court system—helps find the answer.
Equal Justice under the Law
BEFORE YOU READ
The Main Idea
The rights of all US. citizens are protected bylaws and the courts.
Reading Focus
1.
In what ways is the United States a nation of laws?
2.
What are the four sources of law in the United States?
3.
What roles do the courts play in the United States?
Key Terms crime, p. 181
criminal law, p. 181
civil law, p. 181
common law, p. 182
precedent, p. 183
constitutional law, p. 183
appeal, p. 183
As you read, take notes on equal justice under the law. Use a chart like this one to record your notes.


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