American Government

Stakes High As Supreme Court Battle Intensifies

Posted on in American Government

The sudden passing of liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg created an immediate vacancy on the Supreme Court weeks before the presidential election. Replacing Ginsburg with a conservative justice could potentially change the direction of the Court for decades to come.

Mourners, including Chief Justice John Roberts, eulogized Ginsburg and paid tribute to her trailblazing career as an activist and jurist. 

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Stakes High As Supreme Court Battle Intensifies"


“Partisan Reaction To Loss Of Ginsburg Shows How Much Else Has Been Lost”

“What impact will the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg have on the 2020 Election?”

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, setting up nomination fight”

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg: death of liberal justice gives Trump chance to reshape the US for generations”

“McConnell Vows Vote on Ginsburg Replacement as Her Death Upends the 2020 Race”

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg Death Makes Supreme Court Major 2020 Campaign issue”

“Trump’s Supreme Court Move Deepens Fears of an Authoritarian Power Play”

“Democrats Eye Expanding Supreme Court if Trumps’ Nominee is Confirmed” 


  • Writing: Describe the historic role of the Supreme Court with respect to the other two branches of government. Why do Republicans prize a conservative majority on the Court?
  • Debate:  Should President Trump be allowed to seat a new justice to the Supreme Court, or should it wait until after the presidential election?
  • Poll:  Should Supreme Court justices serve lifetime terms?
  • Short Answer: What can be done to make the confirmation process of selecting Supreme Court justices less contentious and more bipartisan?

Current events quiz:

1) Nominees to the Supreme Court must be confirmed by the _______.

a. House of Representatives
b. President
c. Senate
d. Supreme Court

2) Which of the following statements is NOT true?

a. Four women have served on the U.S. Supreme Court
b. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first women to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court
c. Currently two women serve on the U.S. Supreme Court
d. Three Presidents have appointed women who served on the U.S. Supreme Court

3) How long is the term of a Supreme Court justice?

a. two years
b. four years
c. six years
d. life term

4) Nominees to the Supreme Court are required to have judicial experience. (T/F)

5) Women have only been started serving in the Supreme Court in the past 40 years. (T/F)

6) President Obama appointed half of all the women to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court (T/F)


1) C

2) B

3) D

4) False

5) True

6) True


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Featured Image Credit: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Photographer: Steve Petteway

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