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Essay Questions



1. Discuss the purpose of the federal judiciary. Why was this not a part of the Articles of Confederation, and what caused the Founders to include it under the U.S. Constitution?

2. Examine the ways in which the concepts of judicial restraint, judicial activism, original intent, and a living constitution are connected to one another. Which of these concepts is the most/least advantageous for racial and ethnic minorities and why?

3. Examine the process by which cases appear before the U.S. Supreme Court. Why would some consider it somewhat miraculous that civil rights cases have made their way to the highest court in the land?

4. The authors of the U.S. Constitution specifically intended that the judicial branch would be the least powerful of the three branches. Examine the institutional structures of the federal judiciary that make this branch the least power. Why did the founders choose to do so?