Democracy for Ambassadors Badge Activity
Judge a Case
Learn more about the judicial branch by researching a Supreme Court case.
Time needed: 1–2 hours
Computer, tablet, or phone with internet access
The judicial branch of the government is made up of courts and judges. The system ladders up to the highest court in the United States, the Supreme Court.
You are going to dig into a case that was tried by the Supreme Court!
The Supreme Court, which is sometimes called “the highest court in the land,” is made up of nine special judges called justices. These justices were all men until 1981, when the first woman, Sandra Day O’Connor, joined the court. (She was a Girl Scout too!) Today the court is a mixture of men and women. Justices are appointed, not elected, and they serve lifelong terms. That means they generally stay on the court until they pass away or retire, but the Constitution gives Congress the power to impeach—or try to remove—justices for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Go online and research important Supreme Court rulings. Choose one and find out everything you can about it. What was the process to get the case to the Supreme Court? What was the decision about the case by the Supreme Court? How close was the vote? Do you agree with the result?
Share your thoughts with family or friends.
Think about what you just did:
Why do you think it’s significant that Supreme Court justices serve lifelong terms?
Would you want to be a judge or member of the Supreme Court? Why or why not?
How can you share what you’ve learned with other girls?
Troop Leaders: The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in your Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.
Girl Scouts at Home activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming and optimized for use at home during a period of social distancing.