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US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87. She had been suffering from pancreatic cancer. She died of issues from her cancer. She had been fighting cancer on and off for the last 21 years. In total, she got cancer five times. Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life working for the improvement of women’s rights. She was a prominent activist and pioneer. She became a lawyer when women were expected to be housewives and overcame the prejudices of her time.

The Supreme Court is very important in the US. There are nine justices on the Supreme Court and they are allowed to be on the court for life. It is common for Supreme Court Justices to serve until they are very old and sometimes until death. 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. The court is one of the three main parts of the US government. The other two are the Presidency and Congress. The Supreme Court is a key part of how the US government works.

The President gets to choose new Supreme Court justices. The president’s choice then has to be confirmed by the Senate. 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 did not let President Obama choose a new justice in 2016, nine months before the election. Democrats are arguing that Republicans have to follow their own rules. Republicans are saying they will choose a new justice anyway.

Difficult Words

Activist (n): A person who fights for political or social change.

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

Overcame (v): To succeed in dealing with a problem.

Prejudice (n): A wrongful dislike not based reason or actual experience.

Legal (adj): Allowed to happen by the law.

Activities

For listening practice, listen to the recorded article here:

American English Audio:

Match the Synonym!

 1. ActivistA. First person.
 2. PioneerB. Unreasonable dislike.
 3. OvercameC. Fight change.
 4. PrejudiceD. Allowed
 5. LegalE. Succeed

True or False?

1. Ruth Bader Ginsberg died in an accident. T / F

2. Ginsberg was a very powerful male justice. T / F

3. Ruth Bader Ginsberg became a lawyer before she was a justice. T / F

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

5. The President does not get to choose Supreme Court Justices. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. of / her / She / died / issues / from / cancer

2. a / was / prominent activist / a / She / and / pioneer

3. is / the / The Supreme Court / US / very / important / in

4. justices / are / the Supreme Court / nine / on / There

5. parts / is / It / of government / one / three main / of / the

Listening and Vocabulary

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

American English Audio:

RulesAllowedReplaces
ProminentMarriageJustice

US Supreme Court (1)___________ Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87. She had been suffering from pancreatic cancer. She died of issues from her cancer. She had been fighting cancer on and off for the last 21 years. In total, she got cancer five times. Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life working for the improvement of women’s rights. She was a (2)_____________ activist and a pioneer. She became a lawyer when women were expected to be housewives and overcame the prejudices of her time.

The Supreme Court is very important in the US. There are nine justices on the Supreme Court and they are (3)____________ to be on the court for life. It is common for Supreme Court Justices to serve until they are very old and sometimes until death. 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 (4)___________ legal in the US. The court is one of the three main parts of the US government. The other two are the Presidency and Congress. The Supreme Court is a key part of how the US government works.

The President gets to choose new Supreme Court justices. The president’s choice then has to be confirmed by the Senate. 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 did not let President Obama choose a new justice in 2016, nine months before the election. Democrats are arguing that Republicans have to follow their own (6)_________. Republicans are saying they will choose a new justice anyway.

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?