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US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at 87 years old. She died from problems with cancer. Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life working for women’s rights. She became a lawyer when women were expected to stay home. She was a pioneer.

The Supreme Court is very important in the US. There are nine justices on the Supreme Court. They can be on the court for life. The court is one of the three main parts of the US government. The most important issues in the country are decided by the court. The Supreme court made abortion legal in the 1970s. In 2015, the court made gay marriage legal in the US. It is an incredibly important part of the government.

The President gets to choose a new Supreme Court justice. Donald Trump has chosen two new justices while President. If he replaces Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he would have chosen three. There are arguments about whether he should choose a new justice. The Presidential election is less than two months away. The Republicans didn’t let President Obama choose a new justice in 2016, nine months before the election. Republicans and Democrats are arguing about how a new justice should be chosen.

Difficult words

Pioneer (n): The first person do something or to go somewhere.

Court (n): A group of judges that make decisions on legal matters.

Government (n): A group which controls a country, makes all the laws and cares for the people.

Legal (adj): Something which is allowed to happen in a country. (Opposite: illegal)

Election (n): A time of voting for a new government position.

Activities

For listening practice, listen to the recorded article here:

American English Audio:

Match the Synonym!

 1. Pioneer A. Country control.
 2. Court B. Allowed
 3. Government C. First person.
 4. Legal D. Voting
 5. Election E. Judges

True or False?

1.  Ruth Bader Ginsberg died at more than 90 years old. T / F

2. Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a pioneer. T / F

3. There are 5 main parts of the US government. T / F

4.  There are 10 justices on the Supreme Court. T / F

5. The president is allowed to choose the Supreme Court justices. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

  1. from / cancer / with / She / died / problems

2. was / She / a / pioneer

3. are / There / justices / nine

4. to / The / choose / gets / President

5. and / Democrats / arguing / Republicans / are

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

American English Audio: 

DecidedMonthsJustices
ReplacesExpectedDied

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has (1)_______ at 87 years old. She died from problems with cancer. Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life working for women’s rights. She became a lawyer when women were (2)__________ to stay home. She was a pioneer.

The Supreme Court is very important in the US. There are nine (3)__________ on the Supreme Court. They can be on the court for life. The court is one of the three main parts of the US government. The most important issues in the country are (4)__________ by the court. The Supreme court made abortion legal in the 1970s. In 2015, the court made gay marriage legal in the US. It is an incredibly important part of the government.

The President gets to choose a new Supreme Court justice. Donald Trump has chosen two new justices while President. If he (5)__________ Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he would have chosen three. There are arguments about whether he should choose a new justice. The Presidential election is less than two months away. The Republicans didn’t let President Obama choose a new justice in 2016, nine (6)__________ before the election. Republicans and Democrats are arguing about how a new justice should be chosen.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Did you know of Ruth Bader Ginsberg before reading this story?
5. Does your country have a Supreme Court?
6. If you country has a Supreme Court, how important is it?
7. Do you think it’s right for Republicans to replace Ginsburg after saying Obama shouldn’t replace Scalia?
8. How important is it to not be hypocritical in politics?
9. Are politicians held to a high standard in your country?
10. Is Obama or Trump more popular in your country?
11. How advanced are women’s rights in your country?
12. Are equal rights for all people strong in your country?
13. Who do you think will win the US election?
14. Do you know any famous activists from your country?
15. What is the most important issue that activists in your country are fighting?
16. Have any major historical figures from your country died in recent years?
17. How strong is the justice system in your country?
18. How much do people care about politics in your country?
19. Do you know how common voting is in your country?
20. Do you vote in every election?