1. Introduce the topic by discussing how citizens go to different branches of government with concerns. How are the branches different in the way they do their work? How are the legislators and judges different? Have students review powers delegated in the Minnesota and US Constitutions.
Suggested lesson talkingpoints: Legislators look forward and judges look back: limited to using a record developed by parties, applying precedents, looking for legislative intent.
Legislators represent constituent interests; judges apply the law to the facts of a case. They do not represent constituent interests and sometimes decide cases against the will of the majority of citizens.
There are no education requirements to be a legislator and the legislature includes people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Judges have the same educational background: they must be
learned in the law and have a license to practice law.
2. Have students complete to the best of their ability the “Legislators and Judges are Different “chart.
They will return to this at the end of the lesson.
3. OptionalWarmUpActivity 1. Misunderstandings: Walk around the class and talk to other students about a time when you or someone you know misunderstood the meaning of something. Change partners often.
2. Chat: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words that will be in the reading are most interesting and which are most boring. Have a chat about the topics you like.
Prosecutor/alcoholconcentrationlevel/exclusionaryrule/reasonable interpretation/ DWI 4. StoryboardActivity. Divide students into groups of six for the “Traffic Law Case Study” storyboarding activity. A storyboard is a visual representation that depicts (explains) what is sequentially happening in a written story.
5. In each group of six, assign one student to each of the first six chapters of the “Traffic Law Case Study”. The case study includes six chapters plus a final seventh chapter that will be considered at the end of the storyboarding activity.