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Article of the Week

Week of 1/23-1/27
Directions: Complete all steps below, which includes annotating, answering questions, and margin
notes. You should read this article multiple times before Friday. Be prepared to share your thoughts,
ideas, and opinions on Friday!
Step 1 : Read the article. Use the coding we practiced in class to annotate the article. You can use
the following options:
* important idea

+ you agree

X you disagree

! surprising idea

__ Underline a specific line that you

found interesting

Circle a word you dont know-try to

guess the meaning using context

? you are wondering about that idea

Step 2: Read the article a second time. Number the paragraphs. Read the article carefully and
make notes in the margin. Notes should include:
The 5Ws:
Who is involved in the text?
What is the main subject of the text?
When is the event of the text happening?
Where is the event of the text taking place?
Why is this text written? What is the point?
Comments that show that you understand the article. (A summary or statement of the main
idea of important sections may serve this purpose. You could also [bracket] the paragraph and
write the GIST.)
Questions you have that show what you are wondering about as you read.
Notes that differentiate between fact and opinion.
Make a connection (another event, another historical movement) with something you read (no
personal connections!)
Observations about how the writers strategies (organization, word choice, perspective,
evidence) and choices affect the article.
Step 3: Read the article again noting anything you might have missed during the other reads of the
Step 4: Answer the questions that follow the article. Be sure to use evidence from the article when

Courtroom Dramas
Still missing a ninth justice, the Supreme Court considers key issues this
By Patricia Smith | January 30, 2017 | NY TIMES UPFRONT MAGAZINE
For almost a year, the Supreme Court has been deciding the ultimate law of
the land with just eight justicesone short of its usual nine members.
The ninth seat has been empty since Justice Antonin Scalia died last
February, with the Republican-controlled Senate refusing to consider any nominee
until after the election. President Trump is expected to move quickly to fill the
Courts vacancy with a conservative justice.
Trump has pledged to nominate someone in the mold of Justice Scalia, so if
that person gets confirmed, we wont see a huge change in the Court, says
Jeffrey Fisher, a law professor at Stanford University, in California.
Trumps appointment would likely restore the Court to its ideological balance
before Scalias death: four conservative justices, four liberal justices, and one
swing vote (see Eight Isnt Enough).
The court already has a full docket of important issues to decide this term.
Here are four key cases.
Do cheerleading outfits deserve copyright protection?
Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands
The fashion industry doesnt usually follow the deliberations of the Supreme
Court, but clothing makers are watching this case very closely. It concerns stripes,
zigzags, and other designs copyrighted by Varsity Brands, the leading seller of
cheerleading uniforms. The Tennessee-based company sued Star Athletica, a
Missouri-based rival company, after it started to market uniforms with similar
Copyright law is very complicated, but in general it hasnt applied to most
clothing. A copyright protects the originator of something creativelike a piece of
music, a poem, or a photofrom having someone else profit from the copyrighted
work. Courts have usually found that clothings primary useto cover our
bodiesoutweighs its creative aspects, so copyright protection is rarely given for
Varsity is hoping to convince the justices that its designs are unique enough,
apart from the outfits themselves, to warrant copyright protection for the uniforms.
But Star Athletica says those stripes and zigzags are generic. It also argues that
the designs are an integral part of the garment itself, which cant be copyrighted.

Notes on my
reactions and
questions as I

How the Court interprets whats eligible for copyright protection could have a
huge impact on the fashion industry. Blatant knockoffs of high-end fashions by
mass-market clothing companies are big business. When a celebrity wears a
designer gown to an awards ceremony, a cheaper version is often available at the
mall within weeks. A ruling that makes it easier to copyright clothing would hurt the
knockoff industry.
If suddenly in this case we say that dresses are copyrightable . . . perhaps
well double the price of womens clothes, said Justice Stephen G. Breyer during
oral arguments.
Should transgender students be able to use the school bathrooms of their
Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.
Gavin Grimm is a transgender boy in Gloucester, Virginia. That means he was
born female but he identifies as male. When he started 10th grade at Gloucester
High School in the fall of 2014, he began referring to himself publicly as a boy.
By then, Gavin had already cut his hair short and started getting testosterone
shots. He got permission from the school principal to begin using the boys
But when the community found out, a massive controversy erupted.
Gloucester Countys school board voted to prevent Gavin from using the boys
bathroom, and he filed a lawsuit, saying the policy violated his civil rights. That
lawsuit has now made its way to the Supreme Court.
Gavins lawyers argue that the districts bathroom policy is unconstitutional
under the 14th Amendment, which guarantees all Americans equal protection of
the laws. It comes at a time of intense debate over transgender rights. Last year,
North Carolina passed a law requiring transgender people who are in government
buildings to use bathrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth
certificates. This law sparked protests, boycotts, and lawsuits. So far, efforts to
repeal it have failed.
The only thing I ever asked for was the right to be treated like everyone else,
says Gavin, now 17 and a senior.
But Gary McCaleb, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group
supporting the school board, says the case is about protecting the privacy and
safety of all students. Federal law should not be twisted to require that a male be
given access to the girls facilities or a female to the boys facilities, he says.
Theres a chance Gavins case will be dismissed. Part of the lawsuit involves
whether Gloucesters policy constitutes gender discrimination, which is prohibited

Notes on my
reactions and
questions as I

by the federal law known as Title IX. The Obama administration said the bathroom
policy was discriminatory, and that the school district was in violation of Title IX
and therefore at risk of losing federal education funding.
But the Trump administration is likely to have a different interpretation, and
experts say that could prompt the justices to dismiss the case. No matter what
happens, the Court seems likely to decide a transgender rights case at some
Its an issue that the Supreme Court will be grappling with eventually, says
David Strauss, a law professor at the University of Chicago.
Can offensive names be trademarked?
Lee v. Tam
In 2011, Simon Tam applied to trademark the name of a band he started in
Portland, Oregon: the Slants. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused,
saying the name is a derogatory term for Asian-Americans. Under federal law, the
trademark office may refuse to register trademarks it considers disparaging.
Tam, who is Asian-American, sued, arguing that he has a First Amendment right
to name his band and have trademark protection for the name. A trademark
prevents anyone else from profiting from use of a nameBig Mac, for
examplewithout the owners permission.
The question here, says Lee Rowland of the ACLU, is can the government,
by offering an immense benefit like trademark protectionthe possibility of being
the next Kleenex or Coca-Colacan the government make a condition of that
benefit that you cant be offensive?
This case has big implications for a much higher-profile one: The National
Football Leagues Washington Redskins are challenging the trademark offices
2014 decision to revoke its trademark on the same groundsthat the teams
name offends Native Americans. That case is pending before the Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals.
The team has argued that the name Redskins is meant to honor American
Indians, not insult them. But others, including many Native Americans, say the
name is offensive and have been urging the team to change it for decades.
Regardless of the ruling, the teams going to face the same
question: whether or not theyre willing to continue alienating a large
segment of people, says Deborah Gerhardt, a law professor at the
University of North Carolina. Ultimately, the question is whether
having a trademark that many people think is racist is worth it.

Notes on my
reactions and
questions as I

*Loss of their trademark wouldnt force the Redskins to change their name, but others could then use the
name and logo without permission.

Can a church get government funding for a playground?

Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley
How strictly governments should interpret the concept of separation of church
and state is the question in this case involving a Lutheran church in Missouri.
Seeking to resurface a playground in 2013, the church applied for a state grant
under a program meant to encourage nonprofit groups to make childrens play
areas safer. State officials denied the request, and the church sued.
The First Amendments Establishment Clause says government can make no
law respecting the establishment of religion. But theres long been debate about
whether that language requires a complete separation between government and
religion. The Missouri constitution prohibits spending public money in aid of any
church. The church argues that the state constitution violates the 14th
Amendments equal protection principles and the First Amendments guarantee of
free exercise of religion.
This case could help clarify what the separation of church and state really
means, says David Strauss, the University of Chicago law professor.
Theres this notorious problem with the church-state relationship, he
explains. The government cant give too much help to them but also cant be
hostile to them. Drawing that line is very difficult.

Directions: Use the article to answer the questions below.

1. Define the following words using context clues from the text.


2. What is the article mostly about?

3. Why has the Supreme Court been operating with only eight justices?


Notes on my
reactions and
questions as I

4. How does the author support the claim that a decision in the case Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands could
have a big impact on the fashion industry?

5. Compare the constitutional questions the Supreme Court will weigh in Gloucester County School Board v.
G.G. and Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley.

6. How could the Trump administration affect the Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. case?

7. Pick one of the cases from the article and discuss the two sides. Which side do you agree with and why?

Outcome Target

Not Yet

Meets Standards

Exceeds Standards

Creates appropriate plans

and follows them in a
timely manner with
attention to deadlines.

See below
on ways to

Student uses a planning tool (e.g. planner) to

document assignments and project deadlines,
set smaller goals and, if necessary, modify
plans to meet these deadlines. During work
sessions, student organizes class time to
carry out responsibilities and requires no
teacher redirection.

Student uses a planning tool (e.g. planner) to

document assignments and project deadlines,
set smaller goals and, if necessary, modify
plans to meet these deadlines. During work
sessions, student organizes class time to
carry out responsibilities.

Ways to improve this outcome:____ Complete all parts(steps) of the task, _____ next time hand in your assignment on time, _______
spend more time revising before handing in assignment , ____ other: