This library of free reading worksheets walks students through the setup of federal courts and judges that are the judicial arm of the government.

The job of the judicial arm of government is to interpret the laws put into place by the Legislative branch. What separates this branch of the government from the others is that Congress can have a great deal of influence over the shape of the judicial branch. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest of all courts. The number of judges that sit on the court is entirely decided by Congress. Since the late-19th century there have been nine Justices. What is interesting about the Supreme Court is that their decisions are final, meaning that they basically are the last word in the justice process.

These lessons and worksheets look at specific aspects of the judicial branch. The topics include the role of Appellate Courts, the Supreme Court, the movement and process of procedures; we also look at the impact of very influential Justices.

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Judicial Branch Reading Passage

The lowest level courts are the U.S. District Courts.

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Judicial Branch - Multiple Choice Questions

Since 1869, there have been nine judges on the Supreme Court. Called justices, they are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

Judicial Review

Judicial review is the process of determining whether or not a law violates the constitution, and, if it does violate the constitution, declaring it invalid.

Judicial Review - Short Answer Questions

How long was it after Marbury vs. Madison that the Supreme Court exercised its right of judicial review again?

Appellate Courts

The judicial branch of the U.S. government is composed of a system of federal courts and judges.

QUESTIONS: Appellate Courts

The first step in an appeal is for it to be heard by a panel made up of three circuit court judges.

The Supreme Court

The highest-level court in the United States is the U.S. Supreme Court.

QUESTIONS: The Supreme Court

How many cases that apply to the Supreme Court are actually heard?

The Judicial Process

The U.S. Constitution established a Supreme Court, but it left it up to Congress to create lower federal courts.

QUESTIONS: The Judicial Process

There are two types of court cases, civil and criminal, and both are first heard by a district court.

Judiciary Act of 1789 Reading Passage

It was with this act that the judicial branch of the United States government began to take shape.

QUESTIONS: Judiciary Act of 1789

Who reorganized the federal court system that the Supreme Court would be given its own physically distinct structure from that where Congress convened?

John Marshall

John Marshall was one of the most important and influential Supreme Court justices in U.S. history.

QUESTIONS: John Marshall

n 1801, Adams appointed Marshall as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a position he would hold for 34 years.

Supreme Court Justices Reading Worksheet

Chief Justice John Jay (served from 1789-1795) was one of America's Founding Fathers.

Supreme Court Justices - Short Answer Questions

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (served from 1902-1932) presided over the 1919 case of Schenck v. United States, which dealt with free speech against the government.

Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court Justice. During his twenty-four year term, he gained a reputation as a champion of individual rights.

Thurgood Marshall- Multiple Choice Questions

President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals in 1961.

Landmark Cases

Many landmark cases have resulted in positive social change.

Landmark Cases - Short Answer

Which landmark case says that the Constitution gives the federal government certain implied powers?