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How History Affects Supreme Court Decisions and Supreme Court Decisions Affect History: A Look at the Fourteenth Amendment
by Judy Zimmer, Street Law, Inc.

Print out and make copies of these organizers for your students:

  • Handout #1: U.S. Constitution: Fourteenth Amendment: Sections 1 and 5 -- Download

  • Handout #2: Announcing the Passage of the Fourteenth Amendment -- Download

  • Transparency #1: Civil Rights Act of 1875 (excerpt) -- Download

  • Handout # 3: The Civil Rights Cases (1883) -- Download

  • Handout # 4: Reflections on Dissent -- Download

  • Optional: Handout #5: President John F. Kennedy, Address to Nation on Civil Rights -- Download

  • Handout #6: The Fourteenth Amendment and Protections for Workers -- Download

Resources Used for Lesson Development:

  • This Web site, written by Street Law, Inc. with the Supreme Court Historical Society, contains lesson plans, primary source materials, and other information about key cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. It also includes teaching methods and strategies for teaching about the Court similar to those used in this lesson plan.

  • The Web sites,, and all contain basic information about the cases described in this lesson plan.

  • The basic information about the Fourteenth Amendment was adapted with permission from Lee Arbetman and Ed O'Brien, STREET LAW: A COURSE IN PRACTICAL LAW, SEVENTH EDITION (Glencoe, 2005).

    For more information about this practical law textbook for high school students, go to

    For more information and curriculum from the organization Street Law, Inc., go to