Your paper must be submitted to me, in written format, by the end of the school day on January 21st. As stated in the course outline distributed the first day of school; I will not accept late papers! Your paper should be a minimum of 5 pages, double spaced with 1” margins. Do not double space twice between paragraphs. The font you use can be no larger than 12. Your paper must have a cover page and a complete bibliography. These two pages are not included in the 5 page requirement. Anything over 5 pages, excluding cover page and bibliography, will be counted as extra credit at a maximum of 20 points per page not to exceed five additional pages (100 extra credit points). This will be your only opportunity to earn extra credit in Government.
In this paper you will be exploring the constitutional issues involved in a case that was heard by the U. S. Supreme Court. Your case should be one that had a profound impact on how our Constitution is interpreted. You should begin with an introduction briefly explaining the case. A thesis statement should be part of your introduction; this statement should explain the constitutional issue argued before the Supreme Court. Your thesis statement must be submitted to me by Thursday, December 16th.
You will need to use 5 different sources that must be cited in your paper and listed in a bibliography included with your paper. You must have at least one source that is not an internet source. Please review the Lawndale High School plagiarism policy. Any plagiarized paper will not be accepted and if your paper is not accepted, you will not pass Government which is a graduation requirement. Your source cards and note cards are due on January 5th.
After your introduction, you will explain the facts of your chosen case and the lower court decisions. Make sure you report on all court decisions leading to the Supreme Court hearing and whether those decisions were made by state or federal courts. Most of your paper should be based on the constitutional arguments of both sides. Remember, the Supreme Court only decides on constitutionality, they do not decide guilt or innocence. You need to thoroughly explain the constitutional debate of your case and explain how your particular issue was interpreted by the court before your case reached the Supreme Court.
You will explain in detail the Supreme Court ruling and discuss how this ruling changed the Constitution and the lives of Americans. You need to ensure that you discuss the reasoning the justices cited for their decision. You must discuss the dissenting opinion of the Court and the legal reason given for that dissention. Please note any changes made by the Court after your chosen case was decided.
Your conclusion must include the impact your chosen case has had upon our legal system and American society. You need to analyze the historical impact of the Court’s decision of your case. Conclude by thoughtfully explaining your feelings about the Court’s decision and whether or not you agree with the decision. Your personal analysis should be based on your thoughts about the law; not about your personal preferences. In other words, if you were discussing an abortion case you need to conclude with whether or not you agree with the argument that the Ninth Amendment includes the right to privacy; not your personal thoughts on legalized abortion.