Personal Injury

Debating the Rule of Law

Take Action! —Deportation Hearings—Should They Be Secret?

1. Researching the Appeals Process

a. In U.S. Courts and U.S. Supreme Court, learn about the U.S. federal court system. Draw a flowchart to show how cases move through it. Answer these questions:
(1) Why is it possible for two different U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal to rule differently on a similar issue?
(2) When a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issues a ruling, where is it considered binding?
(3) What are the different ways in which cases can reach the Supreme Court?

b. Assuming that appeals will be filed in Detroit Free Press, et al., v. John Ashcroft and North Jersey Media Group, Inc., New Jersey Law Journal v. John Ashcroft, use your diagram to show your class how the cases would reach the Supreme Court. Use either of the other two articles in this section to explain why the appeals process can be crucially important to safeguarding the rule of law.

2. Read the decision of the Sixth Circuit in Detroit Free Press, et al., v. John Ashcroft and the Third Circuit in North Jersey Media Group, Inc., New Jersey Law Journal v. John Ashcroft. Review the First and Fifth Amendments (the basis of the plaintiff's cases) as well as the Powers of the Executive Branch (the basis of the Department of Justice's case). Based on your reading, which ruling do you feel best follows the "rule of law"? Assuming the role of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, how would you rule in these cases? Research others' opinions about the Rights of Detainees. How does your opinion compare with the arguments you find? Determine which organizations hold positions that you support, and find ways to help in their advocacy efforts.


Student Central | Students in Action | Debating the Rule of Law
*Deportation Hearings—Should They Be Secret?*
Thurgood Marshall and the Case Called Brown
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