This article picked by a teacher with suggested questions is part of the Financial Times free schools access programme. Details/registration here.


  • Edexcel Component 3, Section 4: US Supreme Court and civil rights

  • AQA Component 3.2, Section the judicial branch of government

Click to watch the video below and then answer the questions:

Abortion law: Roe vs Wade and the US constitution

Background: what you need to know

The starting point for this week’s discussion is a 14-minute video by British constitutional lawyer David Allen Green about the background to the controversial US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade. The author explains what a constitutional right is and examines how the Court came to reverse a right which was apparently securely established for almost half a century.

There is interesting material here for the study of both the Constitution and the Court. The article also touches on the concept of federalism with a look at how states are now set to make their own decisions on the legal status of abortion.

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 3

  • Evaluate the view that the Supreme Court is ineffective in protecting constitutional rights.

    You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘The US Supreme Court does not protect constitutional rights effectively.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]

    : Abortion rights have understandably been a focus of debate in recent weeks, but a successful answer to either question should look at other constitutional rights, such as the second amendment right to bear arms.

Graham Goodlad, St John’s College

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article