English II-Research Project “For justice to be done, judges must be

English II-Research Project
“For justice to be done, judges must be free to interpret laws independently, objectively and
impartially, without any undue pressure from police, the government, the military, public opinion, or
any other interested person.”
In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, readers are presented with the idea that courts should
serve to be “the great equalizer” (Lee) of society. However, in the case of Tom Robinson’s trial and our
own society, this may not always be the reality. For this assignment, you will be researching landmark
Supreme Court cases in order to form an opinion about whether or not the highest court in our nation
made the correct decision.
Your paper will follow the following structure:
 Introduction
o Grabber : Important quote from the actual case verdict
o Focus Statement: General overview of the case
 What happened?
 Who was involved?
 What precedent did the case set? (Why was it important)
o Thesis Statement:
 Did the Supreme Court make the right decision (thesis)? Why or why not
 Body Paragraph 1
o Specifics about the origins of the case (background information)
 Body Paragraph 2
o Information about the trial
 Initial trial(s) before the case came before the Supreme Court
 Body Paragraph 3
o Verdict
 What did the Supreme Court decide?
 Who was in the majority? What did they say?
 Who dissented? What did they say?
 What precedent did the verdict set?
 Body Paragraph 4
o Your claim as to why the Supreme Court’s decision was correct or incorrect
o Your reasons + evidence supporting your claim
 Body Paragraph 5
o Opposing opinions
o Reasons and evidence why the opposing opinions are wrong
 Conclusion
o Modified Focus Statement
o Modified Thesis
Any information about the case being upheld or overturned later
You may choose from any of the cases on this list:
Abrams v. United States (Dissent)
Lawrence v. Texas
Adkins v. Children's Hospital
Lochner v. New York
Barron v. Baltimore
Marbury v. Madison
Boerne v. Flores
Martin v. Hunter's Lessee
Bowers v. Hardwick
McCulloch v. Maryland
Brown v. Board
Minersville School District v. Gobitis (Dissent)
Bush v. Gore
Miranda v. Arizona
Casey v. Planned Parenthood
Plessy v. Ferguson (Dissent)
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge
Plessy v. Ferguson
Regents of University of California v. Bakke
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge
Reynolds v. Sims
Cherokee Indian cases
Roe v. Wade (Dissent)
Cooley v. Board of Wardens
Roe v. Wade
Cooper v. Aaron
Schechter v. U.S.
Dred Scott v. Sandford (Dissent)
Schenck v. U.S.
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Slaughterhouse Cases (Dissent)
Ex parte Milligan
Slaughterhouse Cases
Fletcher v. Peck
Stenberg v. Carhart
Frontiero v. Richardson
Swift and Co. v. U.S.
Gibbons v. Ogden
U.S. v. Curtiss-Wright
Gideon v. Wainwright
U.S. v. E. C. Knight
Griswold v. Connecticut
U.S. v. Lopez
Grutter v. Bollinger; Gratz v. Bollinger
Hamdam v. Rumsfeld
U.S. Steel Workers of America v. Weber
Korematsu v. United States (Dissent)
West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish
Here are the links to a few sites to get your research started:
1. This site is where you should begin your research. It provides a general overview of each of the
landmark cases listed above.
 http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark.html
2. This site provides information about the more notable Supreme Court cases:
 http://www.streetlaw.org/en/landmark/home
3. Here is a link to the CHS library web page that identifies many quality research sites:
 http://www.coronadocougars.net/
 Typed
 MLA Format
 Times New Roman 12 pt. font
 Double Spaced
 Turnitin.com (submitted and receipt attached to the back of your paper)
 At least three sources. One must be PRINT
o All sources must be credible.
 See handout!
Important Dates:
2/28-3/2: MAC cart available in class for research
2/29: Topic Proposal Due
3/2: Note cards due
3/9: Final Draft due
Research Paper Topic Proposal
Due Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Your Research Topic Proposal must be formatted as follows:
Professor’s name
Case chosen:
Reasoning (1 paragraph [8 sentences minimum] explaining why you chose this case):
Thesis Statement:
In the case of ____________ , the United States Supreme Court was (correct/ incorrect) in its decision
because of ___________________, ________________, ________________.
*This assignment must be typed, Times New Roman 12 pt., double spaced.